Celebrating the Holiday Season With Blood Cancer During COVID

Holidays are a time of celebration, but they can prove difficult for blood cancer patients undergoing treatment, especially when adding COVID to the mix. To make things a little easier for everyone, we have compiled a list of helpful tips to help blood cancer patients and their families through the end of 2020.

Don’t feel pressured.

Only you know what you are comfortable doing, and more importantly, what you are not comfortable doing over the holiday season. Many family and friend groups are choosing to host small outdoor celebrations that are both masked and socially distant. While this setup may work for some people, it might not be the best idea for individuals who are immunocompromised or undergoing cancer treatment.

If you do not feel comfortable with any level of in-person activity, remember that it is okay to set boundaries and say no to invitations. It is important to do what you feel is best for yourself and your journey – you are your best health care advocate.

If you do decide to visit with family and friends, it is important to have an open and honest conversation with your medical team prior to holiday plans. Your medical team will be able to make recommendations and offer advice specific to your diagnosis on how to stay safe this holiday season. Remember, this is still a time to be vigilant and mindful of any health risks and COVID risks.

Make new traditions.

Don’t feel like you have to stick to a standardized schedule. Celebrate a day early or a week late, the day or time does not matter, as long as you have a moment to spend with your friends and family.

Rather than trying to make old traditions work, create a new holiday tradition that makes sense for your specific situation. Instead of having one family host and cook, have each family bring their own food or order carryout from a local restaurant. To limit the spread of germs, provide each diner with their own disposable plate, utensils, and cup. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes!

If you wish to social distance while socializing, consider hosting a virtual happy hour or have a family meal together via Zoom or FaceTime.

Be an innovative shopper.

Shopping is hard enough with crowded stores and long lines, so take advantage of online shopping this year. It is a fun and easy way to buy gifts for friends and family without putting yourself at risk. Plus, you can have items sent directly to everyone’s house to further limit contact and exposure.

If you are planning on shopping in-person this year, consider going early to avoid the holiday crowds. Many stores are already offering various holiday deals and offers.

If you are looking to scale back this holiday season, consider sending out gifts cards, holiday cards, letters, or even make phone calls to loved ones to let them know you are thinking of them.

If you would like to learn more about staying safe and social this holiday season or have additional tricks/ tips you would like to share, please contact There Goes My Hero at 443-339-4375 or email us at stephanie.cupp@theregoesmyhero.org.