Personal Relationships

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Realistic Optimism in Cancerville

by William Penzer, PhD

Not knowing what will happen brings out the frightened, con­fused, and overwhelmed parts of us in all life’s areas, and especially in Cancerville. The philosophy of realis­tic optimism seeks to offset our automatic pessimistic reactions. It strives to replace hopelessness with hopefulness, within realistic boundaries.

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When Your Partner Has Cancer

by Drucilla Brethwaite, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, and Paul Clark, PhD, LCSW

A cancer diagnosis in the fam­ily can elicit strong emotions – fear, anger, sadness – and those strong emotions can interfere with your ability to problem solve and engage in life. In order to find a “new normal” after diagnosis, it helps to become aware of how you and your partner communi­cate and function as a team.

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Women, Cancer, & Sexuality

by Ralph and Barbara Alterowitz

After cancer, women often feel they have lost a significant part of themselves and their sexuality. Mourning is natural. Women need to learn ways to cope with this loss. But when mourning locks you in, when you let it act as a kind of emotional quicksand, it compounds the tragedy of loss. Many women feel that their cancer has not just changed their sense of self, but has damaged it.

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Helping Children Cope with Your Breast Cancer

by Cynthia Moore, PhD

Open, honest communication with children about breast cancer can be challenging, but it’s one of the best ways to help children thrive during your treatment.

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Managing Communication Around Cancer Diagnosis Gives Patients Sense of Control

Asserting control over how to communicate — or not communicate — about their illness helps cancer patients overcome feelings of helplessness in a traumatic situation, according to researchers at The University of Texas at Austin.

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It’s Your Kids’ World. You’re Just Barfing In It.

by Shelley Lewis

Although our trip had been planned long before I found out I had breast cancer, I couldn’t have chosen a better place to go on vacation before chemotherapy. The Italians really know how to enjoy life. There’s natural beauty, art, great food and wine, and a pace that forces you to slow down and enjoy it. It was perfect.

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Creating Caring Connections

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer, keeping friends and family updated can be difficult. Repetitive explanations and endless phone calls and e-mails are time-consuming and emotionally draining. Fortunately, many Web services provide friends, families, and communities with a central hub to keep in touch, stay informed, and share support.

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Cancer Through a Child’s Eyes

by Maryann Makekau

When a woman is diagnosed with cancer, it has a powerful ripple effect on all those who know and love her. Hearing those dreaded words, “you have cancer,” conjures up thoughts and emotions that can be paralyzing. Sharing the news with others can be even more debilitating, especially when you haven’t even had the chance to swallow it yourself!

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