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Topic: How to handle Thanksgiving with Family???????

Forum: Coping with Holidays, Special Days and Anniversaries — Holidays and special days, like birthdays and anniversaries, can be filled with complex emotions. Are they a time to celebrate or are they extra difficult? Share your feelings and experiences here.

Posted on: Oct 26, 2017 10:07AM

Harley_Girl wrote:

I am the one who usually hosts the family for Thanksgiving, but this year I will be getting my last chemo treatment on Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Thursday begins my 3-4 bad days. I have said I wanted to skip Thanksgiving this year, because I will not feel good, I won't be able to eat, and if I can everything tastes like crap. I received a call from my mother yesterday telling me I don't have to worry about thanksgiving I am to come to my sisters house she will be hosting Thanksgiving this year. I said as long as it is just us I am OK with that. but I will need a place to lay down, for when I get tired and don't feel well. I am assuming it will be my sister, her 2 preteen boys, her adult son & wife, and their 2 toddlers, my Mom, my boyfriend and my son. I think that is a lot of people, especially knowing I will feel like crap. She then told me my sister has invited by brother and his girlfriend, my niece her husband and their 3 toddlers, and my nephew his wife, and their 3 school aged kids.

I explained I am having my treatment on Tuesday, I don't need to be around ALL those people, including all those kids. My Mom doesn't understand, she said we always have everyone who wants to come over. I said I would stay home as it doesn't really matter to me. I also said that I would be better at Christmas and that would be a better time to have everyone over. I also explained we are not having my boyfriends kids and their children over during this time because I won't feel good and I don't want to be exposed to illnesses. My sister is being a bitch, because I don't want to come to Thanksgiving, at her house, Really she is a nurse??????

Am I just being a crazy selfish person? I want to see my family and pend time with the kids, I just don't need to get sicker than I already am.Any suggestions?

Dx 7/18/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/7/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/17/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Oct 26, 2017 10:36AM tlfrank wrote:

I don't think you're being crazy or selfish at all. I think the opposite is true. While I understand your mother wanting "everyone" there for the holiday, after all we all want "normal" whatever that is. However, it's selfish of her and your sister to be giving you a hard time. I watched my dad suffer through the effects of chemo, and last thing he wanted or needed was a party going on all around him. Especially toddlers - they're little germ factories and last thing you need is to catch something from them.

Your sister being a nurse should know better.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, you've got enough on your plate already.

Hormonal Therapy 1/14/2017 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery 10/2/2017 Lumpectomy: Left Dx 10/9/2017, DCIS, Left, 2cm, Stage 0, Grade 3, ER+/PR+ Radiation Therapy 11/12/2017 Whole-breast: Breast
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Oct 26, 2017 10:37AM Moderators wrote:

Hi Harley_Girl and thanks for bringing up a very important subject!

No - of course you're not crazy or selfish! You need to take care of yourself at this time, and if your family can't understand that then that's too bad for them. Maybe you can explain to them that right now, your health is the most important priority, and you hope they can understand that. And for yourself, know that it's okay to say NO.

The main blog has a post that resonates with this situation: Thriving Emotionally During the Holidays

We know there are many others here who have faced what you're going through -- managing the stress of the holidays while undergoing treatment. We're sure there will be others weighing in soon!

We hope this resolves soon and you can find yourself in a happy solution!

--The Mods

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Oct 26, 2017 11:39AM gb2115 wrote:

If it makes you feel better, if I were in your shoes I'd bail and watch Netflix all Thanksgiving. Too many people to be around when you're not feeling well. Not to mention the germs you'll be exposed to---

Dx IDC in Oct 2016, stage 2A, 1.2 cm ER/PR+ Her2-, Grade 2, 1/3 nodes, Lumpectomy + rads + tam. Age 38. 5/21 Dx IDC. 1.3 cm ER/PR+, Her2 -. Gr 2. 2/3 nodes positive. AC/T. Age 42
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Oct 26, 2017 12:10PM Flynn wrote:

You shouldn’t feel guilty at all! You have a lot to get thru and certainly don’t need to get sick! I’m sure they’re anxious and want to feel like things are ok but you have to put yourself first right now.

I’d try not to escalate the issue because holidays bring a lot of emotions- just calmly tell them your decision and move on. Good luck!

Dx 2/2017, IDC, 6cm+, Stage IIB, Grade 3, ER-/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/28/2017 AC Chemotherapy 8/31/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxol (paclitaxel) Surgery 11/29/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 1/31/2018 Whole-breast: Breast, Chest wall Chemotherapy 8/1/2018 Xeloda (capecitabine)
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Oct 26, 2017 01:16PM MTwoman wrote:

You are neither crazy nor selfish! Putting ourselves first is not common for many of us and it is hard to make that switch, so good for you for doing that! This is the time for you to prioritize your optimal healing, and that includes not being around little walking petri dishes! I actually cancelled Christmas one year. I had some other difficult things happen in the months leading up to my final surgery and just couldn't deal. I requested from all family and friends that they abstain from forcing Christmas upon me, and they (ever so reluctantly) agreed. I did exactly the same thing that gb suggested (although there was no Netflix at the time). I watched movies, ate soup, laid on my sofa resting and healed; in peace and quiet. I actually took the holiday (emergency) call so that others could enjoy their holidays without being bothered with carrying the pager. We all need what we need, and sometimes it's great to be around lots of family and feel the love; and sometimes it's overwhelming or counterproductive (in this case to your actual health). Give yourself a break and if they don't understand, it's just tough nuggies. They'll get over it.

Dx 12/10/2002, DCIS, Right, 1cm, Stage 0, Grade 2, 0/3 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2- Surgery 12/20/2002 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Sentinel Surgery 12/23/2003 Reconstruction (right): Nipple reconstruction Surgery Reconstruction (right): Saline implant Surgery Reconstruction (right): Tissue expander placement Surgery Mastectomy: Right
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Oct 26, 2017 05:05PM BellasMomToo wrote:

You are not being selfish. After my 6th/final round of chemo, I was wiped out. I remember laying in bed thinking... good thing there is no 7th round -- I wouldn't survive it. That's how wiped out I felt. I also had chemo on Tuesdays and would feel the effects staring on Thursday.

You need to think about yourself and to heck with everyone else!

Dx'd at age 56. Tumor found by my annual mammogram -- cancer can grow fast! Dx 10/6/2016, IDC, Left, 2cm, Grade 2, 0/1 nodes, ER-/PR-, HER2+ (IHC) Dx 10/6/2016, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, ER+/PR- Targeted Therapy 11/2/2016 Herceptin (trastuzumab) Chemotherapy 11/2/2016 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/2/2016 Perjeta (pertuzumab) Surgery 3/27/2017 Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left
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Oct 26, 2017 05:17PM Icietla wrote:

You are not crazy, nor selfish. Take it easy. You can safely visit with them by phone.

Every day is Thanksgiving.

My latest (Stage IVB) diagnosis is almost certainly of another distant primary type. To the best of my information and belief, I am still apparently what we call NED as to breast cancer, doubtless thanks to Letrozole. Dx 2/12/2016, ILC, Right, Stage IIA, Grade 1, 0/13 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 2/19/2016 Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Right; Prophylactic mastectomy: Left Hormonal Therapy 4/1/2016 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/25/2016 Prophylactic ovary removal Dx 8/2018, Stage IV
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Oct 26, 2017 05:24PM Nancy2581 wrote:

You are not crazy at all. I remember day 3 and 4 after chemo - awful. I think your mom just doesn't get it. People that haven't gone through this sometimes just don't understand. I would put my foot down and just stay home. It's all about you right now - not them. Hang in there.



2.8 cm tumor with LVI Dx 6/11/2014, IDC, Right, 2cm, Stage IIB, Grade 1, 1/3 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- (IHC) Surgery 6/24/2014 Lumpectomy: Right; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel Chemotherapy 7/22/2014 AC + T (Taxol) Hormonal Therapy 1/28/2015 Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Radiation Therapy 1/29/2015 Whole-breast: Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 12/17/2017 Femara (letrozole)
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Oct 26, 2017 06:14PM - edited Oct 26, 2017 06:15PM by Micmel

Gotta do what you gotta do! I don't blame you one bit. Even if you did have a place to rest you won't really rest. I wouldn't want to be the sick one on display. I just wouldn't go anywhere near there. If they don't understand, they obviously have never had Cancer. It's their issue not yours. Just take care of yourself and get the rest you need. You need healing time. Not over exposure to booger picking, germ sharing young ones. I love kids, I have two of my own, but we all know at certain ages, they are cleaner and more aware of washing hands and etc..... just simply explain and leave it at that. Who feels like dealing with company when you just have had chemo. I realize it's your sisters house, but all you want is your bed. Not to travel. Good luck. But one thing I've learned is don't sweat the stuff we can control! They'll get over it. Big hugs. ~M~

Everyone has to dance, they just don’t know what song they will get. Dx 1/22/2016, IDC, Left, 4cm, Stage IV, metastasized to bone, Grade 2, 13/35 nodes, ER+/PR-, HER2- Chemotherapy 2/10/2016 AC Surgery 6/21/2016 Lymph node removal: Left, Underarm/Axillary; Mastectomy: Left Chemotherapy 7/20/2016 Abraxane (albumin-bound or nab-paclitaxel) Targeted Therapy 11/7/2016 Ibrance (palbociclib) Surgery Chemotherapy Chemotherapy Hormonal Therapy Arimidex (anastrozole)
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Oct 27, 2017 09:27AM Harley_Girl wrote:

Thank you everyone for your support and input. I am sticking to my guns. I met with my sister last night. I told her thank you for helping out, however I will be staying at home for Thanksgiving. She suggested to send dinner to my house after they have dinner. I said I would make sure there was food at the house for my son and boyfriend, but I would encourage them to go to her house for dinner. I know they won't go without me but I will try. I said that if I was up to it she and my mom could bring me dessert later. I have no idea how that will work but I am trying. I think she got it and understands. I also told her I would send her my stuffing recipe and I would make bread dough that she can freeze for the rolls this weekend. I love my Mom but she is very self centered, and she is going to deal.

Dx 7/18/2017, IDC, Right, 3cm, Stage IB, Grade 3, 0/9 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Surgery 8/7/2017 Lumpectomy; Lymph node removal: Right, Sentinel, Underarm/Axillary Chemotherapy 9/17/2017 Carboplatin (Paraplatin), Taxotere (docetaxel)
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Oct 27, 2017 03:59PM sbelizabeth wrote:

Harley_Girl, good for you. I bet your family means well but has no idea what it is to go through chemo.

Enjoy your holiday. Take a hot lavender-scented bath, watch Hallmark movie, enjoy a short walk. Get some sunshine and fresh air if you can.

pinkribbonandwheels.wordpress.... Dx 10/20/2011, IDC/IBC, Left, 1cm, Stage IIIB, Grade 2, 6/28 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Chemotherapy 12/15/2011 Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel) Surgery 4/18/2012 Mastectomy: Left Radiation Therapy 5/21/2012 Breast, Lymph nodes Hormonal Therapy 7/19/2012 Femara (letrozole) Surgery 4/15/2013 Reconstruction (left): DIEP flap; Reconstruction (right): DIEP flap
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Oct 27, 2017 06:17PM ksusan wrote:

Describe the situation to your oncologist. I'll bet that could result in a medical order to stay home.

Mutant uprising quashed. Dx 1/2015, IDC, Right, Stage IIA, 1/1 nodes, ER+/PR+, HER2- Dx 1/2015, DCIS, Left, Stage 0, Grade 3, 0/2 nodes Hormonal Therapy Tamoxifen pills (Nolvadex, Apo-Tamox, Tamofen, Tamone) Surgery Lymph node removal: Sentinel; Mastectomy: Left, Right Radiation Therapy Whole-breast Chemotherapy Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Taxotere (docetaxel)

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