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The Role of Spirituality in Cancer Care

The terms spirituality and religion are often used in place of each other, but for many people they have different meanings. Religion may be defined as a specific set of beliefs and practices, usually within an organized group. Spirituality may be defined as an individual’s sense of peace, purpose, and connection to others and beliefs about the meaning of life. People may think of themselves as spiritual or religious, or both.

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A Letter To Jesus

by John Ward

Dear Jesus, I’m sending this letter to You because I’ve been thinking a lot about heaven lately, and I didn’t know where else to send it. I heard that You once said that we are never alone, and that You are always with us, so I believe that You will get this message.

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Cancer as a Spiritual Journey

by Anne Coscarelli, PhD, and Michael Eselun

Cancer is a traumatic life event that is often marked by crisis and loss, but also by the possibility of deep spiritual growth and discovery. It is important for people with cancer and family members to have a variety of tools and resources to help manage the challenges that come. Every physical effect of cancer and its treatment also comes with spiritual and psychological consequences.

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The Resilient, Adaptable Human Spirit

by Tamara Barto

The dictionary defines “resilience” as the ability to recover rapidly. Although you may not feel like you’ve actually recovered, you will somehow adapt to your changing circumstances. There is nothing like a serious illness or loss to change your “normal” life. Little by little, you will find that a “new normal” evolves.

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Cancer and Spirituality

by Rev. George Handzo, MDiv, and Rabbi Andrew Sklarz

One of the facts of surviving a life threatening illness is that everything is different. Your body is changed, and your spiritual and religious outlook is forever changed. However, this “new normal” does not have to mean that everything is worse than before. “New” can sometimes be better. One of the secrets is finding ways to use the experience of illness to grow and be a better person than before.

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Can Faith Make You Well?

by Harold Koenig, MD

Can faith make you well? Although there are a few studies that suggest that people with cancer may have longer survival if they are actively religious, the research is by no means certain on this matter. Although you might not live any longer, a lot of research indicates that you might live better, that your quality of life may be higher, and that your sense of well-being may be greater. That doesn’t mean religious people who get cancer never get depressed, anxious, or suffer with their disease. It just means that everything else being equal, those with faith may do better overall.

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Finding Inner Peace in the War on Cancer

by Morry Edwards, PhD

We have often used military metaphors such as fight or battle to describe a person’s struggle against cancer. In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a “War on Cancer,” which we are slowly winning with approximately 12 million cancer survivors living in America today.

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Spiritual Resources for the Healing Journey

by Steven Spidell, DMIN, BCC

More and more, cancer survivors are employing a holistic approach to overcoming their disease. While some people turn to Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, or naturopathy, many more are drawing on complementary, spiritual practices to reach a total healing approach.

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