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Personal Relationships

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Facing Cancer Together

by Courtney Bitz, LCWS

When a woman is diagnosed with cancer, it can send her life into a tailspin and cause a great deal of emotional turmoil. However, she is not the only one who may suffer emotional distress. Cancer can take a toll on her partner as well, with some studies revealing that partners experience just as much dis­tress as the person diagnosed.

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Women, Cancer, and Sexual Health

by Lynn Wang, MD

"What defines you?" That was my opening question for the women of a breast cancer support group where I was invited to speak about cancer and sexual health. In the past, I had mistakenly kept the question too broad, and the answers were various litanies of stage II cancer, cancer-free for three years, stage IV, metastatic to the bone … This time, I reframed the question: No, not what defines your cancer. What defines you?

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How to Tell Your Kids That You Have Cancer

by Barbara J. Golby, LCSW-R

For any parent diagnosed with cancer, how your diagnosis will affect your children is a top con­cern. This is especially true for parents of young children or teenagers still living at home. Not wanting to worry or upset them, many parents feel unsure about how to tell their children they have can­cer. Some even question whether they should discuss it with their children at all.

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How to Build a Deeper Intimacy

by David Bullard, PhD

Whether we voice them or not, most of us at times have questions about how we can deepen the intimacy and sexuality of our closest relationships. Cancer survivors also can find it challenging to voice their need for deeper intimacy and share their concerns and feelings about resuming a sexual relationship after cancer.

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Your Relationship When Treatment Ends

by Karen Kayser, PhD, MSW

When cancer hits home, it can often bring couples closer together. But what happens when treatment ends? Do you still need support? What about your partner? What kind of new challenges will the two of you face?

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Fertility and Cancer

by Lisa Kolp, MD

When you hear the news that you have cancer, you may feel as if your life is spinning out of your con­trol. You wonder whether you will survive. And what about all the side effects of cancer treat­ment? Will you be able to manage them? Then your doctor drops another bomb, sending your sense of control hurtling even further from your reach: the treatments intended to save your life may leave you infertile.

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What Do We Tell the Kids?

by Katelyn Uyehara, MSW, LICSW

When a parent is diagnosed with cancer, one of their first major concerns is what to tell the kids. Unfortunately, the impact of a cancer diagnosis is one of many things in life you can’t shelter your children from. What you can do, how­ever, is give them tools to cope with and adjust to this new challenge.

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Managing Cancer’s Impact on Your Relationships

by Ruth Oratz, MD, FACP

Amid the initial shock of hearing the words “You have cancer,” in­numerable questions enter your mind: What does this mean for me? How will this affect my partner, my children, my parents, my friends? What about my job? You begin to realize that cancer will have a profound effect not only on your life but also on the lives of those around you.

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