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.
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.
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.
O Is for Organize Your Life
by Richard C. Frank, MDThe 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.
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.
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.
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.
Signposts of the Cancer Journey
by Alan S. Wolkenstein, MSW, LCSW, and M. Evan Wolkenstein, MA
The term survivor is used to describe a person who has lived through a brush with death. “Cancer survivors are those individuals with cancer of any type, current or past, who are still living. From the time of diagnosis and for the balance of life, a person diagnosed with cancer is a survivor,” according to the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.