From OHC

December 12, 2022

Contact: Joanie Manzo
Director, Marketing & Physician Services
513-751-2145 x20143

The holidays are in full swing, and you might find yourself decking the halls, frosting dozens of cookies, wrapping presents, and party planning. While one moment brings happy anticipation for an upcoming get-together, another brings stress about how to check everything off your to-do list. For those with loved ones who have cancer, this time of year probably has you wondering how to help them enjoy this festive season.

“While my OHC colleagues and I have some recommendations, one of the most important things to remember is to have empathy for your loved one,” said OHC advanced practice provider Connie Rudy, MSN, APRN. “Every cancer patient is unique. Some may be looking forward to this season as a time to reflect on blessings and spend quality time with family and friends, while others may dread the holidays. Understand that patients might be on an emotional rollercoaster while coping with the physical effects of their disease and treatment including fatigue, loss of appetite, or a weakened immune system.” Follow the patient’s lead and allow them to have feelings.

Following are five suggestions for helping a loved one with cancer celebrate the holidays:

  1. Spend time with them. Give the gift of your time, whether it be in person, via Zoom, sending text messages, or making phone calls. You can enjoy some holiday specials on Netflix together or bake a favorite recipe. You might find that as you create new traditions, you are connecting more deeply with each other and appreciating the true meaning of the season.
  2. Play uplifting holiday music. Music can be therapeutic. Create a holiday playlist of favorite seasonal tunes or spiritual hymns to enjoy with them.
  3. Offer assistance with preparations or household chores. Be specific with your offer to help. Can you pick up groceries for them while you are out and about or stop by to wrap their gifts? Help them decorate their home or decorate a room for them with their favorite holiday theme. Take care of the meal at the upcoming party by making it yourself or hiring a caterer. Stop by to do some laundry or vacuum.
  4. Join them in a favorite activity to give them a break from their anxiety or sadness. Take them on a drive to see light displays or to their place of worship. Stop by their favorite café for coffee or hot chocolate. Invite them on a walk. After all, physical activity offers a mood boost. Play their favorite game or take them to a movie they’ve been wanting to see. Have a PJ party. Remember to stay in the moment and enjoy it.
  5. Share entertaining holiday memories. Ask your loved one to share their favorite holiday memories from childhood. Look at old photo albums. Listen and give them your undivided attention.

“Keep in mind that cancer patients can be particularly vulnerable to catching contagious viruses, particularly this time of year,” noted Connie. “Immunocompromised individuals should be cautious if attending large gatherings. When spending time with them, remember to be diligent about hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distancing.”

To promote the healing process, OHC’s cancer care focuses on physical, mental, and emotional well-being to promote patient quality of life. For more resources or information on the comprehensive care provided by OHC’s multidisciplinary team of cancer experts, or to request a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

OHC (Oncology Hematology Care) has been fighting cancer on the front lines for more than 37 years. We are the region’s leading experts in the treatment of nearly every form of adult cancer and complex blood disorder. OHC cancer experts include medical oncologists, hematologists, blood and marrow transplant specialists, cellular therapy specialists, radiation oncologists, gynecologic oncologists, and breast surgical oncologists. OHC continues to bring leading-edge treatment options through its nationally recognized cancer research and clinical trials program. OHC is the first, most experienced, and only certified independent adult cancer practice in the region to offer the revolutionary immunotherapy treatment, CAR-T, for adults, ushering in a new frontier in the fight against cancer. OHC is certified by the American Society of Clinical Oncology in the Quality Oncology Practice Initiative Certification Program and was one of only a select few cancer practices nationally to be accepted to participate in the Oncology Care Model, part of The Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation. At its heart, our approach to cancer care is simple — to surround you with everything you need so you can focus on what matters most: beating cancer. For more information about OHC, or a second opinion, call 1-888-649-4800 or visit

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