The festive season can be a challenging time for Queenslanders affected by cancer, and Cancer Council is reminding locals that vital support is just a phone call away.
Cancer Council Queensland CEO Ms Chris McMillan urged Queenslanders affected by cancer to reach out to the charity via 13 11 20 if they needed support and information.
“With the focus on festivities and family at this time of year, it can be particularly hard for those who have lost someone to cancer, who are experiencing a cancer diagnosis or caring for someone with cancer,” Ms McMillan said.
“One person is diagnosed with cancer every 20 minutes in Queensland – that’s more than 27,000 people across the state each year.
“We want Queenslanders to know that they are not alone during this time and that help is just a phone call away.
“Whether you have been diagnosed with cancer, a friend, family member or carer of someone with cancer, or you have a question about preventing or the early detection of cancer – our 13 11 20 team understands and is available to help.”
Open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding public holidays), Cancer Council’s 13 11 20 is a confidential service.
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available on 13 11 20 or cancerqld.org.au.
Tips for coping over Christmas
For some, the festive season is a time for celebration, while for others living with cancer, it can be a challenging period. Cancer Council Queensland’s Counselling Service have shared their top tips for coping over Christmas.
Adjust expectations and stay flexible.
When making your holiday plans, try building in a Plan B in case you or your loved one needs a break. Before attending an event, you can alert the host that you may need to leave early, depending on how you feel. You might organise a few different options for activities, so that you can adapt to how you or a loved one feels on the day. It can be very useful to schedule rest time in-between commitments.
It’s okay to say no.
Remember that it’s okay to turn down a party invitation, or say no to visitors. Every person’s resources are limited, and some adjustments to the usual schedule can help to preserve your energy.
Acknowledge mixed feelings.
Christmas can come with a sense of pressure to stay happy and positive which can feel exhausting. If possible, try to take the mental pressure off the day. There might be moments that you enjoy, and other moments where you feel sad or anxious. Mixed feelings about the day are completely normal. It is usually better to take each moment as it comes, and acknowledge both pleasant and difficult emotions. This can relieve the emotional pressure, rather than expecting yourself to ‘stay positive’ for the sake of the occasion.
Reach for support.
The holidays can be a difficult time for many reasons. It can be helpful to discuss your feelings with loved ones, or call Cancer Council on 13 11 20 for information and support, Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm (excluding public holidays). Support can also be found 24 hours a day, 7 days a week through Lifeline (call 13 11 14).
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5345
Mobile: 0409 001 171