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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
On the Job Hunt after Cancer
Explaining away the gap in work history is one of the most common worries of cancer survivors looking for work. But there is some good news for those facing this challenge today. Because of the ongoing sluggishness of the economy, more and more people have substantial gaps in their resumes. Of course, a down job market isn’t easy to negotiate, but those hiring are not as likely to automatically discount you because of a work gap.
When Treatment Ends
by Jolene Rowe, LCSW
For many cancer survivors, the challenges of a cancer diagnosis don’t end with treatment. Emotional recovery is sometimes a longer and even more difficult process than physical recovery. This can be exacerbated by the expectation from family, friends, and coworkers that the day treatment ends will be the day you are back to normal. As a cancer survivor, you know this is far from the truth.