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Chemotherapy for Christmas

Updated: Nov 16, 2020

Posts from Laura


Yesterday, I openly sobbed at Target while we browsed the Christmas section.


Let me preface this by saying I love the holiday season, especially Christmas. In years past, I’ve dedicated days to transforming our home into a winter wonderland, filling each room with dazzling holiday decor until Santa himself would mistake it for home. We’ve always chopped down our own tree and adorned it with twinkling lights and treasured ornaments we’ve collected over the years, all while our favorite Christmas movies play in the background. And, of course, our oven is always on to accommodate my intense baking needs that would give Mrs. Fields a run for her money. Abdi describes my passion for the season best, calling it my “Christmas aggression”.

Laura’s “Christmas Aggression” 2019

But that was before Abdi’s diagnosis. This year, we will spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year in a hospital battling cancer while our Christmas decorations collect dust at home in Washington, DC.


SIDEBAR: This doesn’t make me less grateful for all that we have - an army of supportive friends and family, an incredible medical team, a roof over our heads and the financial means to keep it there. But I mourn the loss of a season of traditions that brings both of us so much joy.


All these emotions are amplified by the fact that he will be undergoing aggressive chemotherapy treatment during a global pandemic, at the height of flu season, making him even more susceptible to infections - which are deadly in his immunocompromised state.


As I wandered through the Christmas aisles feelings of fear, sadness, and anger overwhelmed me. Tears streamed down my face as I gazed at the beautiful lights dancing around me. A place that once brought me so much joy now made me feel “emotion shamed.” Like I was wrong for feeling unhappy, not being able to find the silver lining, unable to let go of the material things and focus on the “true meaning of Christmas.”


I let go of how the season is supposed to make me feel.


I let go of how I should feel.


We fight on.





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