I met my sister-in-law for the first time while receiving a blood transfusion on Christmas Eve. My brother brought her home for Christmas while she was still his girlfriend and I was two months into a battle with a rare cancer called angiosarcoma.
They came to the hospital as soon as they arrived in town, and I’ll admit—it was a little awkward. I wanted to show interest in this woman who had stolen my baby brother’s heart. I craved connection with her and with my brother, too.
But as the bag of blood dripped into the central line in my chest, I realized I had no emotional energy to give to my visitors. I was fatigued by the chemo, discouraged by bad news I had received a few days before, and wondering if this would be my last Christmas with my husband and young children. The year before, my husband’s sister had battled breast cancer during the holidays. So I knew from experience that when cancer meets Christmas, it’s difficult for everyone.
If you’re a family member of someone battling cancer this year, you’ve probably already been affected by your loved one’s diagnosis and treatment. You may wonder or even worry about how to handle the impacts of this tough situation during the holidays. I’ve been the one who is sick, and I’ve also been the family member wondering how to respond. I’d love to walk alongside you with a few suggestions.
You can read the rest of this post over on the enCourage blog of the PCA Women’s Ministry.
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