Christmas time is amazing. People try to be nicer. Families get together. Time for a short break and reflection on life.
It gets harder for people who have been diagnosed with cancer and are on treatment. I try my best to give people a break over this time, time to get away from the hospital setting, time to be with family and friends, time to recover from side effects of treatment, time to relook at life.
There are several people who are admitted to hospital and unfortunately cannot be discharged home for a variety of reasons. The idea is to give them a break for a few hours to have Christmas lunch at home.
The saddest thing is when people are just diagnosed with cancer and need more investigations and reviews; and so many services or people are on leave. These patients and families are upset and frustrated. It does not really help them, when I explain that waiting for a few days will not make a huge difference in the bigger scheme of things. They want something done now. I can understand them.
What about people who know that this is their last Christmas on earth? It is important to tell people to enjoy their time with families and loved ones, not just for the patient, but also for the loved ones who will cherish the memories.
I continue to be amazed at the generosity of my patients – who will gift me and the team with cards, chocolates, gifts and so on. There are people who take the time to thank other members of the team (who are forgotten otherwise) – cleaners, support staff, pharmacy, reception staff, etc.
I love this time of the year. It brings a joy to most people. It also helps us understand that Jesus is the reason for the season.