Month: November 2016

Coping with Cancer During The Holidays

The most wonderful time of the year is upon us and we’re gearing up for joyous celebrations, spending time with those we love, and gift-giving, but it may be tough getting excited about the holidays when your and your family have more serious issues on their minds. Being a cancer patient during the holidays means that you and your family may not necessarily be able to continue the same traditions or participate in the same events that you used to, but we are here to reassure you that this does not mean you won’t enjoy the holidays. Instead of focusing on how this year won’t be the same as the years before, focus on how you can adapt this year’s festivities to make sure you have the opportunities to get into the holiday spirit.

Tips to Make The Most of the Holiday Season

There are several organizations out there that want to help cancer patients and their families find joy during the holiday season, including CancerCare and the American Cancer Society, both of whom have put together a list of tips and suggestions that can help those living with cancer during the holidays get into the holiday spirit. We wanted to pass on this helpful information because everyone, especially those enduring hardship, deserves to experience the love and joy of the holiday season…

Don’t shop ‘til you drop and stick to a budget. Do as much online shopping as possible and get creative. A framed piece of nostalgia could mean more to someone than the latest electronics. Remember that buying things will not make up for any negative feelings you are having.

Learn to say no. You don’t have to participate in everything. People will understand if you can’t do certain activities.

Enlist support for organizing holiday gatherings, meal preparation, and cleanup. Don’t pressure yourself with unrealistic expectations or try to do everything yourself.

Express your feelings in ways that help you receive the support of the important people in your life. Sharing can be comforting. It is common to experience a mixture of anticipation, excitement and apprehension about the future. Give yourself permission to feel and express your feelings, whether of joy, fear, sadness, or pain. Let yourself laugh or cry.

Take care of yourself: Eat balanced meals, drink in moderation, and try to make time for some physical activity, which is a good way to relieve stress. Get plenty of sleep. Don’t abandon healthy habits.

Allow yourself simple pleasures that will help lift your spirits, such as reading outside, hot baths, and naps.

Prepare for the holidays. Create a list of the usual traditions and events and decide if you want to continue certain traditions or create new ones. Plan how you want to spend your time, with whom, and for how long.

Don’t overindulge in alcohol. Because alcohol is a depressant, it can “bring out” or heighten bad feelings.

Find distractions like going out to dinner or a movie or playing board games or cards with friends.

Don’t try to force yourself to be happy just because it’s the holiday season.

Make plans to get together with friends, family or co-workers over the holidays. Trying to celebrate alone can be very difficult. Find the right balance between celebrating with family and friends and spending the time you may need on your own.

Talk to your health care team about upcoming special events. They may be flexible about appointments in order to accommodate travel or other needs.

Celebrate strengths you and your loved ones have developed. Many families who face the day-to-day challenges of cancer discover strengths and courage they didn’t know they had. Reflect on the strengths you have developed, and build on them during the holidays.

Happy Holidays from Viazoi!

Tips for a Stress-Free Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is next week! It’s amazing how quickly the holidays sneak up on you, and it’s easy to start panicking, but don’t. You probably (hopefully) know where you will be for Thanksgiving dinner and, if you’re just a guest, then you’re all set! If you are a food-bringing guest, you have quite a bit of time to plan out when to shop for ingredients and then prepare the item, so no reason really to stress out there. But for those of us who are hosting Thanksgiving this year, it may seem like time is slipping away but there is plenty of time. A certain amount of stress is unavoidable but chronic stress during the holidays can ruin the holiday spirit (and it’s not good for your health either).

At reveal23, we don’t think there’s anything that a good To-Do List can’t handle! By properly planning ahead and delegating, you can prepare for Thanksgiving at your house and be happy to do it again the very next week if you wanted to because of how easily it all came together.


Plan Your Menu – Create a “Holiday Book” or “Event Log”, if you don’t already have one, and write out every dish you plan on making for Thanksgiving. We suggest keeping the number of items at or under eight. Print out recipes (if found online) and include with the menu list.

Reserve Your Turkey – While markets will have turkeys generally, if you want a specific size, and haven’t already done so, place a reservation order for the particular type and size of turkey you want (if your local market offers the service).

Decide on Your Table Setting – Make sure you have your table linens, plateware, glassware,  silverware, and serving ware chosen/purchased.

Decorate – Have pumpkins, maple leaves, and cornucopias to throw around? Do it the week before so your general decorations are not one of those last-minute Thanksgiving morning things you have to rush through.

Make Your Shopping List – Don’t rely on memory for this grocery trip. At the end of this week, make your list and check it twice!


Monday – 1. Clean out the refrigerator. 2. Do your Thanksgiving grocery shopping, and don’t forget the ice cream if you’re serving pie à la mode for dessert! This will give you time to thaw and brine your turkey if that is how you are preparing it this year.

Tuesday – 1. Make sure the turkey is in the refrigerator, brining or not. Big turkeys especially need plenty of time to thaw if you want them to cook properly. 2. Make your pies. Whether pumpkin, pecan, or apple, pies will taste even better when made ahead. 3. Wash all plateware, silverware, and glassware for your Thanksgiving table. 4. Cut bread into cubes for stuffing/dressing and leave out to dry.

Wednesday – 1. Make turkey stock with neck, giblets, and vegetables to use for gravy. 2. Wash and chop all necessary vegetables for side dishes. 3. Make stuffing/dressing (if not actually stuffing into turkey). 4. Make dinner rolls, cornbread, or biscuits, if you choose to go homemade. 5. Set the table.

Thanksgiving Morning/Afternoon – 1. Get up early. 2. Eat breakfast and have a big cup of coffee! 3. Put any beverages needing chilling in the refrigerator. 4. Take the turkey out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. 5. Prepare all side dishes needing the oven and set aside. 6. Prepare turkey and get it into the oven to roast.

Just Before Thanksgiving Dinner – 1. Take the (hopefully now fully cooked) turkey out of the oven to rest. 2. Put all pre-made dishes into oven to heat up. 3. Make gravy using pre-made turkey stock and juices from roasting pan. 4. Take pies out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature. You can always throw them in the oven just before dessert-time too.

Bon Appétit and Happy Thanksgiving!

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