We don’t often take the time to share what goes on behind the scenes at I’m Taking Charge, because we generally spend the bulk of our time chasing after the latest news about breast cancer and breast reconstruction. But as we approach 2018, we’re adding a couple more things to our plate, and we want our whole ITC family in on the action!

Our audience has been growing steadily over the past few years, which is awesome because it means we’re helping more and more women through their breast cancer journey. We need to ramp up our fundraising efforts this holiday season to make sure we can keep growing with our readers next year. So right now, we’re hosting our first ever Take Charge of the Card holiday design contest, where artists are submitting greeting card designs for a chance to have their holiday card sold in our end-of-year fundraiser. We’re inviting everyone to donate-to-vote on their favorite design, with every $1 donation serving as 1 vote. We also just opened up pre-sale orders where you can purchase your holiday cards now to make sure you support a great cause while you send cheer to your friends this season!

And the best part? To celebrate all these new milestones coming up, we’re raffling off a special I’m Taking Charge holiday basket to one lucky reader! The raffle winner will receive a box of a dozen ITC holiday cards, plus lots of other fun treats. Enter below, and be sure to share the contest with your friends!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


What’s In The Gift Basket?

The basket is intended for a female breast cancer patient, survivor, or co-survivor. Guys, feel free to enter if you’re looking for an amazing gift for a woman in your life who has cancer. We’ve put together a number of items that a woman can use to pamper herself and make her journey a little comfier.  It includes a generous amount of top-quality skincare items, jewelry, a compression bra and lingerie that are designed especially for use after breast surgery, a stylish clutch, and several other items.


How to Increase Your Chances of Winning

Just follow the instructions within the raffle link above. Entrants who are able to acquire ten points will have the greatest chances of winning. You can also add points by tweeting the preformatted message above each day. To get the full ten points, you’ll also need to include a comment below that fits in with our theme for this month, which is “Breast Cancer and the Holidays.” Share a tip or two about this subject and you get two points.  Here are a few of our own ideas to get you started . . .


Tips and Resources for Getting Through the Holidays With Breast Cancer

Here are some tips and resources to help you make the most of your holiday season this year.


Staying Healthy

Breast Cancer Holiday Gift

You probably know what you need to do, in general, to be as healthy as possible during the holidays. But in case you’re drawing blanks, here’s a little list:

  • Minimize stress. Say no—just this once. You have a valid excuse this year. Be on top of things emotionally and psychologically. Realize that depression commonly strikes breast cancer patients, and learn what to do about breast cancer and depression.
  • Get or stay active. We all know the immunological benefits of exercise. A breakthrough study this year showed that exercise is the number one lifestyle factor to prevent recurrence of breast cancer. Exercise also helps to reduce the effects of treatment like chemo. Exercise after breast surgery is also beneficial.
  • Eat nourishing food. Sugar and carbs are unfortunately a staple during this season. Plan ahead to allow yourself little to none of these. Your body will thank you! You might appreciate learning about healthy foods for before and after breast surgery. Fill your plate with those healthy foods as much as you can.
  • Get enough sleep. Just as with unhealthy food, plan ahead now for how you might deal with the temptation to stay up late visiting.
  • Consult with your doctor. Ask your oncologist what you can do to stay healthy. They’ll likely recommend a flu shot and the other things on this list. Remember to explain your circumstances thoroughly. Do you plan to travel? Will you be seeing nieces and nephews at Thanksgiving? Tell your oncologist, ask for advice, and take that advice into consideration when making plans. If relatives don’t understand, it’s not out of the question to ask your physician for a note, “excusing” you from usually obligatory social activities. You might also benefit from this list of questions to ask your doctor about breast cancer.


Traveling When You Have Breast Cancer

breast cancer holiday gift
By travel, I mean long-distance travel: long car trips, train trips, flights, cruises, overnight ferries, foreign countries, and the like. Yes, the ideal would be to stay at home. However, sometimes we need to follow our hearts. Maybe your brother’s been serving overseas for years, and you really want to see him. Maybe Mom’s not as mobile as she used to be. Maybe it’s the last time your kids will see the cousins before everyone heads off to college. You get the idea.

Many breast cancer patients have great long-distance travel experiences. But this is one circumstance where you need to talk to your doctor. Certain risks increase when you travel with breast cancer. Talk to your doctor, and read about tips for traveling with cancer.

Sometimes travel insurance can be helpful. Here’s a great breakdown of how to approach travel insurance when you have a pre-existing condition.



Can you think of any good tips or resources to help breast cancer patients and survivors get through the holidays? If so, write them in the comments section below. Thank you!!