Finding Balance

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Making the Most of the Holiday Season

by Helen Hunter, ACSW, LSW

It’s the holidays – “the most wonderful time of the year!” While this season is a time for us to celebrate life and our many blessings, stress can exist. I am a firm believer in living each day to the fullest and making each moment count, but how can we make the most of each day, particularly during the hustle and bustle of the holiday season? Here are some tips that have worked for me.

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Clearing Way for a Better Life

by Marguerite Barone

It seems like wherever we turn, someone is trying to get us organized. Almost every magazine we see in the supermarket line features an article on getting organized. Some teach us how to make the most of the space in our closets or kitchen cabinets while others reveal the secrets of making better use of our time. Then there are the television programs that actually show us how to organize a den, a child’s bedroom, or a garage. While you probably shouldn’t take on a big organizing project during cancer treatment and recovery, there are a few simple steps you can take to reduce the clutter in your life.

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Information Overload

by Abigail Jones, MLIS, MA

The flood of information that comes with a cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. Let’s look at some ways to sort through that information without letting it become an all-consuming task.

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Recognizing and Celebrating Milestones

Many people mark milestones in their cancer treatment plan and survivorship in a variety of ways. For many people, the one-year and five-year cancer-free milestones are very meaningful. Other milestones and anniversary dates can be marked as well, such as the end of chemotherapy or radiation therapy, the date of your cancer diagnosis, the anniversary of surgery to treat your cancer, or after each follow-up visit.

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O Is for Organize Your Life

by Richard C. Frank, MD

The ultimate goal is for you to have your life so organized that you can deal with cancer treatment almost on autopilot. Once you have taken control of your life as a cancer survivor, you will likely never return to taking each day and the gift of life for granted.

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Your Cancer Survival Kit

by Amie J. Harris, MSW, LCSW, CT, AMP, and Maria A. Caruso, MS, LPC, CT, NCC

A cancer diagnosis often comes without warning. Symptoms can disguise themselves as everyday illnesses, like a cold, and are self-treated or ignored. Suddenly you are rushing to the doctor, having tests done, and being given probably the most devastating news you have ever heard – that you have cancer. It’s during this traumatic time that listening to all the information is critical. It’s during this initial information-gathering phase that tools to aid in decision-making should be assembled. You need a cancer survival kit.

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Cancer and Your Career

by Ruth Oratz, MD, FACP

Once a cancer diagnosis is made, normal life is upended. Daily routines are immediately interrupted as the urgency of dealing with cancer rises to first priority. Medical consultations and diagnostic tests must be scheduled. Processing information about prognosis, treatment decisions, and side effects are the first steps in getting organized. However, in the midst of all of this scheduling, testing, and planning, it is essential to recognize the emotional and psychological impact of cancer on your personal and family life, your relationships, and your career.

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Congratulations on Finishing Your Cancer Treatment!

The end of cancer treatment is often a time to rejoice. You are probably relieved to be finished with the demands of treatment and are ready to put the experience behind you. Yet at the same time, you may feel sad and worried. It’s common to be concerned about whether the cancer will come back and what you should do after treatment.

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