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Finding Balance

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10 Ways to Find Meaning through Cancer

by Wendy G. Lichtenthal, PhD

Following a cancer diagnosis, many individuals report that their desire to live authentic and meaningful lives is heightened. Yet survivors often struggle with an altered sense of identity and meaning, feeling different and discon­nected. While not everyone with cancer has these types of concerns, it’s important to develop a toolbox that you can tap into as needed. If you are living with cancer, here are 10 ways to find meaning in your illness and in your life.

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Working through Cancer

Returning to the workplace after cancer can be both rewarding and challenging. Here, experts at the University of Alabama at Birmingham offer tips to help cancer survivors make a smooth transition as they return to work.

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Cancer Rehabilitation

by Michael D. Stubblefield, MD

There are nearly 14 million cancer survivors in the United States. This number is expected to increase to nearly 18 million by the year 2020 thanks to better cancer screening and more effective treatments. However, the ever-increasing effectiveness of modern cancer therapies does not always translate into fewer side effects. The price of cure or prolonged cancer survival is often high.

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Living Your Best Life after Cancer

by Judith E. Pierson, EdD

Only you can know what living well or living your best life means to you. But two key tools can help you discover and shape your vision – being real with yourself and being real with others.

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Cancer Doesn’t End When Treatment Does

by Morry Edwards, PhD

While many cancer survivors feel like celebrating after they “graduate” from cancer treat­ment, it can be a vulnerable time for some. The routine of going to the treat­ment center for scheduled chemo or radiation can be reassuring; it can make you feel like you’re actively doing something to fight your cancer. This vigilance and constant monitoring by your physician is comforting. But when you’re finished with active treatment and don’t require a follow-up appoint­ment for several weeks or even months, you may feel neglected and defenseless. The transition from active treatment to survivorship can be scary. Here’s some practical advice to help you navigate your post-treatment life.

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How to Find Joy in Your Life

by Patrick R. Harrison, MA, Jennifer L. Smith, MA, and Fred B. Bryant, PhD

From making sense of com­plex medical information and navigating the dizzying array of treatment options to managing stress and strug­gling with worry, the host of challenges brought on by cancer is enough to tax even the most resilient person. Clearly, there’s much to be gained from finding useful ways to handle the adver­sity that a cancer diagnosis often brings.

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Charting Your Journey

by Carole O’Toole

While everyone who faces cancer travels his or her own unique journey, this singular experi­ence connects us all. As a cancer coach, I have listened to hundreds of survi­vors share their hard-earned wisdom in finding their way through cancer. In doing so, I have found these five universal truths from cancer survivors.

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Coming to Terms with Your New Normal

by Deborah Seagull, PhD

A man came into my office after a diagnosis of neck can­cer and said to me, “I miss Matt. I miss the old Matt.” He said that cancer had profoundly changed the way he saw himself and the world. He felt that he could not do ordinary things or focus on small talk the way he used to, regular chores and activi­ties had lost their meaning, and he was unsure about what was fulfilling to him these days.

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