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Thanksgiving on chemo, one family's coping strategy

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

My family celebrated Thanksgiving on Sunday due to my having chemo scheduled on the day before Thanksgiving. We made big servings for a small group and my husband and I took most of the leftovers home. We ate leftovers of turkey and dressing and cranberries and the works every meal except one since Sunday so that we would be sick of turkey and dressing and it would be the last thing we would want again by Thursday.

The plan worked very well. We loved having traditional family dinner on Sunday instead of Thursday...couldn't really tell any difference in that and the actual day. After all, it's being together that matters, not the calendar day. Everything tasted great, everyone got along; it was about as perfect as it gets these days for a holiday with those of us still living getting together.

And the leftovers were great the next day the first time, less so the second time. By today my husband and I had our fill and could barely stand to eat turkey yet once again. There was a little bit of the various foods left and so I made rice and mixed it with turkey and ground asparagus and now it is holiday dog food.

For Thursday, my husband will grill himself a steak, which is already marinating, and have it with a baked potato and some bagged salad, and watch football on TV...he will be content doing that; all the while I will mostly be comatose, sleepig in between bouts of foot and leg cramps etc., drinking room temp water as much as I can force down, but being in the same room with him at home, nevertheless. I won't feel deprived because I've already had the holiday, had all the traditional food I could stand, and the last thing I will feel like after chemo is eating anything.

I think this is about as good as it gets for a Thanksgiving on chemo at our house. We won't feel deprived (not even the dogs), and will also have something special to be thankful for, no matter how bad the Oxi side effects are this round -- I am halfway through my chemo treatments after Wednesday. Woo-hoo!

Oh and they have me scheduled for chemo two days before Christmas too. I guess we will repeat this holiday plan since it seems to be workable for all parties. I'm lucky in that I'm not the first cancer patient in my family and so someone else understands the way you feel after chemo (my father) and that makes others flexible.


Sundanceh's picture
Posts: 4408
Joined: Jun 2009

Sounds like 'the plan.'

You got your taste already and you're right, any kind of holiday can be on any day when we get our mind right about it. Sometimes, not doing something according to structure, can be very liberating and rewarding.

W2Go on the 1/2 way mark. I'll be in clinic on the 30th...if you're there and see me, do stop by and say hi.


Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

I'll be there ALL day for MRI's of abdomen and pelvis and CT scan of chest on the next day, Dec. 1, so think we're gonna miss each other again. :-(

This will be my "halfway mark" set of scans to see if the chemo is helping matters or not. I sure hope it is so this nasty oxi-xelox routine was worth it.


karen40's picture
Posts: 211
Joined: Aug 2011

I'm so happy that you had a Happy Thanksgiving.

Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2011

I'm so glad you worked out Thanksgiving. It sounds like you had a good time.

Yay! for half way through chemo.


tommycat's picture
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

You have the sort of spirit that is inspiring, and should make that cancer second think!!!! Very glad you found a way to enjoy your holidays on your terms, not cancers.
Your Friend in California~

Annabelle41415's picture
Posts: 4895
Joined: Feb 2009

Glad you were able to celebrate even if it was early. It's more important that you are all together. Happy Thanksgiving.


pepebcn's picture
Posts: 6352
Joined: Aug 2010

Glad everything was excellent and you enjoyed that much!
Happy holiday !

Posts: 220
Joined: Dec 2009

Those of you who feel well today, and can perhaps enjoy your family and eat a good meal on the ACTUAL Thanksgiving Day today (at least in the U.S.), now it's my time to wish you a super happy Thanksgiving, a good "Black Friday" if you are able to go out and shop, entertaining football on TV if you can stay awake to watch it, and general enjoyment of anything of those traditional things or anything else you feel like or are planning on doing.

Thanks for all the good wishes. I did have a good time at our early Thanksgiving and ate more food than I have in months in a three-day period. They remarked on that today when they weighed me in for treatment -- as the scales showed I had gained three lbs. after losing over the course of surgery and chemo recently. Only I knew the reason.

I'm already having all that fun stuff that goes with oxaliplatin infusion tonight, and know it will be worse tomorrow and the next couple of days, but I am very grateful for the Thanksgiving I was able to have on Sunday with family and friends.


Posts: 428
Joined: Jul 2011

Great attitudes like yours encourage the rest of us to quit belly aching and make the best of the cards we are dealt. I hope the next few days pass quickly for you. Lisa

Posts: 306
Joined: Jan 2010

It just worked out for us that my wife's chemo schedule made it possible for us to travel this Holiday. We won't be able to travel for Christmas, as her infusion is the day before. So we may follow your plan. Thanks,


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