PO Box 45
IRON RIVER, MICHIGAN 49935-1423
HOW TO ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS DURING A DIFFICULT TIME
Pray for strength and understanding. Pray for others less fortunate than you are. Many times we can help ourselves by helping someone else. Finding spiritual meaning in the holidays is most helpful. There is always hope.
Set your expectations lower. You may have gone all out decorating the house, baking, and gift giving in the past, but it’s OK to simplify at this time.
If you feel you must do these things, then let other people do things for you. People mean it when they say they want to help, but they don’t always know how. It’s the simplest things that sometimes matter most.
Do not isolate yourself. If you can’t be around crowds due to your illness, try being with a few close friends or family members for a simple but festive get-together. A pot-blessed (potluck) meal is acceptable, and you won’t have the work of a dinner party. In our community, many activities revolve around or include food. Unfortunately food may not taste right to people receiving cancer treatment, or smells may trigger nausea. In this case try to focus on the other important aspects of the event, like the people and the event’s purpose.
Rest each day. When fatigue consumes you, you need to find a balance between rest and activities. You don’t need to make any apologies for declining invitations or not feeling up to an activity.
Look back on holiday memories that make you smile. You’re entitled to a pity party, but if sadness continues, you lack interest in caring for yourself or doing once loved activities, then it could be clinical depression. This can be treated. The rate of depression is higher in people with cancer. Being depressed does not mean you are weak, so don’t hesitate to ask your physician or healthcare provider for help.
Take into consideration other people’s suggestions for coping with the holidays. Those who have experienced difficult times can be a comfort to you, and can empathize with your situation.
Want to use up leftover holiday turkey? Here is a simple recipe. It can be bland enough for a person who cannot tolerate spicy foods, or it can be made more flavorful by adding items. At times the side effects of chemotherapy may change a person’s appetite or tolerance for some foods. The same can happen when someone is depressed.
SAUTEED TURKEY BREAST WITH NOODLES, PEAS AND CARROTS
3/4 lb. Skinless boneless turkey breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
2-3 cups frozen peas and carrots mixture
5 cups nonfat chicken broth
6 oz. Uncooked broad egg noodles or no-yolk egg noodles (about 3 cups)
pepper, if desired
Spray a large non-stick saucepan with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat. Add turkey and saute’ 5-7 minutes, until golden on all sides. Add broth and bring to boil. Add egg noodles and cook 10 minutes, or until noodles are just tender. Add peas and carrots and return just to boil If desired, season to taste with pepper. Ladle into shallow bowls and serve hot.
Serves 4 with 324 calories and 6 grams of fat per serving. Additional vegetables to add—frozen corn, cauliflower. Suggested seasonings–chopped fresh parsley, dried thyme, bay leaves, and oregano. Serving suggestion-Serve with a hearty whole grain bread.
MAY GOD BLESS YOUR HOLIDAYS NOW AND ALWAYS
Vegetable Soup Stock
Chop all vegetables into 1 inch pieces. Place in stock pot or large stainless steel kettle, and add seasonings. Steam saute until slightly tender. Cover with distilled water, bring to a boil, and reduce heat and simmer over low heat for 45 minutes to one hour. Cool and strain twice to remove debris, discard vegetables. Stock may be frozen or will keep in the refrigerator up to one week. Use for soups or stews.
Barley Vegetable Soup
Chop onions, dice carrots, celery, parsnips or turnips, and slice green beans. Place in pot with small amount of water or soup stock and steam for about 10 minutes. Add the remainder of the soup stock and bring to a boil. Add barley and allow to come back to a boil. Cover and turn down to low for about 45 minutes. Add peas and all seasonings except parsley and continue and continue cooking another 40 minutes. Mix in parsley just prior to serving.
RECIPES WITH ENSURE
Blackberry Sorbet Slush
Yield: two 3/4 cup servings
I can 8oz vanilla Ensure chilled
1 cup frozen whole blackberries unsweetened
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
Whip all ingredients in blender until thick. Serve immediately or freeze for 10-15 minutes.
Calories: 190 Protein: 5 grams
Cheddar Cheese Soup
Mix together flour, baking powder, sugar, and cinnamon. Stir into oatmeal. Mix milk, oil, and egg together and add to batter. Cook pancakes on a heated skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray.
A great way to include fiber in your meal. Top with blueberries for a big dose of antioxidants.
Diabetic Exchanges: 0.5 starch, 0.5 fat
4 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a baking sheet with heavy foil to make clean up a snap. Mix together the oatmeal, bran, dry milk, cinnamon, sunflower and pumpkin seed and spread on the lined pan. In a small bowl, mix together the honey and molasses. Pour the honey mixture over the cereal, stirring and tossing until well coated. Place in the oven for 30 to 35 minutes, stirrring every 15 minutes, and cooking until mixture is golden brown. Let cool and toss with the cranberries and dried mixed fruit.
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 starch, 0.5 fruit, 1 other carb., 1 fat
How we handle/manage stress depends upon our attitude. Attitudes and emotions can effect our endocrine and immune systems as we respond to stress. Studies are being done in the new field of psychoneuroimmunity to determine connections between the brain, hormones, and the immune system.
When diagonosed with cancer, it is not unreasonable to feel fearful, mournful, or a sense of loss or even hopelessness. The hope is that these emotions will be worked through so a person can get beyond them and onto positive ways of managing the stress, thus becoming a stronger person.
Some people are naturally optimistic, but regardless it is important to seek the help and support of others. A proactive approach to illness will help, since knowledge puts a person in more control. Ask questions and learn all you can about your illness and treatment options.
Not all people share the belief in the mind-body connection, but it is not in the middle of a crisis that a person's way of coping should be changed. Build on what resources are already present.
Having a positive attitude is great support for physical health. Healthcare providers are now admitting the positive effect prayer has on health. Western medicine is also becoming more open to complementary treatment used in addition to traditional medical treatment.
Attitude is a key component to how people cope with disease no matter what the outcome. Although a positive attitude is important, it doesn't mean you'll feel joyous all the time or that you will be cured. You will most likely have a higher level of well-being, however.
How You Can Help:
If you would like to make a financial donation, please send it to our address:
Iron County Cancer Unit
PO Box 45
Iron River, Michigan 49935
If you would like your gift to be in memory or in honor of a friend or relative, an acknowledgement can be sent. please send the name and address with your donation.
Cancer Unit @ 906.265.4420