The Elephant in the Room is Cancer. Tea is the Relief Conversation Provides.


by Jennifer AnandSurvivor, Hodgkin’s LymphomaNovember 30, 2020View more posts from Jennifer Anand

Thanksgiving is hands down my siblings and my favorite holiday. Even Christmas with all its presents is meh. Yet, even in the midst of a pandemic, and the absence of our normal giant Thanksgiving crowd and traditions, we are happy. And sitting here this morning, after talking with two siblings till 4AM, while I message a new social media friend who is currently getting chemo, I realized Thanksgiving is the one holiday cancer didn’t take from my family.

Christmas- relapsed.

New Year’s- initial diagnosis, relapse chemo.

St. Patty’s day- transplant day.

Easter- in the hospital for transplant.

Mother’s day- hospitalizations.

Father’s day- chemo…

July 4th– cancer trip cut short

My birthday- end of radiation.

Memorial and Labor day were spent just playing catch up from all the chemo.

But Thanksgiving.

That one beautiful, perfect holiday. It’s still ours. Somehow, it has eluded a day in the hospital and being surrounded by chemo. Yes, it still reeks of fatigue, and medication, and long-term side effects.

But it is free from actively embracing cancer. It is a day to be grateful. And I’m grateful for life, and health care professionals and medications that have made it possible. I’m grateful for family and friends and those who have stuck by me through this tumultuous eight years. But I’m so grateful that I still have one last remaining holiday unmarred by a cancer experience. Every Thanksgiving that I can ever remember has been spent with people I love, and a cancer-free experience.

I know many of you reading this will have your Thanksgiving marred this year. Empty seats at the table due to the pandemic. Isolated celebrations as you receive treatments alone. Your Thanksgiving will look like a lot of my other holidays. But my hope and prayer for you all is that all your future Thanksgivings may be spent cancer-free with those that love you.

And no matter how bleak today may seem, tomorrow, whenever it comes, will be better. And for that, I am grateful.

All of the posts written for Elephants and Tea are contributed by patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones dealing with cancer.  If you have a story or experience you would like to share with the cancer community we would love to hear from you!  Please submit your idea at

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