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How To Cope With Holiday Stress & Depression & Colorectal Cancer

Share your feelings. As Art Linkletter said, "Laughter is the best medicine." It's okay to cry.

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Share your feelings with friends and family, just as you do concerns about your health.  Keeping negative feelings to yourself is not healthy.  Being open about your cancer can help put family and friends at ease.  Discussing disease and treatment matter-of-factly will help them respond to you.  They will follow your lead and respond without awkwardness.  (You may want to decide ahead of time just how much you’re comfortable sharing.) 

Permit yourself to express your sadness and frustration.  Don’t allow negative feelings to fester.  You may think about your days before cancer and how your life has changed.  If your cancer is advanced, it’s natural to wonder how many more holidays you have left to enjoy with your family.  These feelings are very real - talk about them with your loved ones.  It allows them to talk about it, too.

Share the low times AND the high times.  Tears can be a big relief and very healing; laughter can be very relaxing. In fact, Laughter Therapy has become popular and is based on research findings that laughter can help reduce pain and boost the immune system to aid in the healing process, as well as being a natural gift to help deal with emotional stress. (For tips about bringing humor and laughter into your life, click here.)

Consider joining a support group, even if it’s only to get you through the holidays.  You can participate in a support group at your treatment center or through a disease specific non-profit organization, or from the comfort of your home via the internet or on the phone.  For information about support groups in general, click here. To locate a colorectal cancer support group, click here.

A ” Buddy Program”  is a great way to get one-to-one peer support from someone who can truly relate. You can connect with your Buddy from home over the telephone or internet. For information about cancer buddies, click here. To locate a buddy, see the following:

  • Colon Cancer Alliance at offsite link, or call 877.422.2030
  • Your oncologist or his or her office staff. 
  • An oncology social worker.
  • Cancer Hope Network connects people with volunteers who have been through similar experiences. offsite link
  •, a non-profit organization, makes a connection with volunteer cancer survivors and caregivers who are trained as “Mentor angels” offsite link, Tel.: 312.274.5529

Young men and women: Consider checking out organizations devoted to young people with cancer. For instance: 

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