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Personal Relationships

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One Step at a Time

by Melanie Davis, PhD

You may have crossed sexual intimacy off your priority list when you found out you had cancer. If you’re in active treat­ment, you may not feel like being sexual in the same ways you were before diag­nosis. After treatment, sex may still seem unappealing or even painful. This is all normal. But if you’re ready to bring sexual intimacy back into your life, you can work through the challenges – one small step at a time.

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Cancer Is a Family Affair

by O.J. Sahler, MD

A diagnosis of childhood cancer is the beginning of major changes in how a family operates. Fear and anxiety about the child’s type of cancer and whether effective treatments are available, trips to the cancer center for treatment, and recurrent periods when the child just doesn’t feel well not only take the parents’ time but can also sap their energy and emotional reserves. In addition, parents have to make decisions about how to maintain health insurance and provide for their family’s living expenses.

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The Importance of Social Support during Cancer

by Barbara L. Andersen, PhD

Having cancer can be an isolating experience. But during this time, social support is very important. The challenge for you is to figure out what type of support you need, from whom to get it, and how long you will need the support. For people with many social connections, friends and family are good resources with which to begin. For those with few relationships, healthcare professionals, peers, and other cancer survivors may instead provide solace and support.

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Is There Sex for Women after Cancer?

by Anne Katz, RN, PhD, and Don S. Dizon, MD, FACP

One of the more common side effects of cancer and its treatments is sexual dysfunction, which includes alterations in body image, changes in normal arousal patterns, and diminished ability to have and enjoy intercourse. All of these issues can take an emotional toll on both the woman with cancer and her partner, and too often, they aren’t addressed.

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In This Together

by by Suzanne B. Phillips, PSYD, ABPP, CGP, FAGPA

A traumatic event is one that is life threatening, unimaginable, and unexpected. One that can assault your body, your spirit, and your life as you know it. For a couple, a cancer diagnosis is a traumatic event for both partners. But when you each recognize your strength as a couple, you have a physical and psychological advantage in this journey.

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Is My Child OK?

by Kathleen McCue, MA, LSW, CCLS

Someone in your family is dealing with cancer. It might be you, your spouse, or a grandparent. Whoever it is, it’s someone your child loves.

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A Couple’s Guide to Facing Breast Cancer Together

by Susan Hedlund, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C

The diagnosis of cancer is a life crisis for anyone who hears those words: “you’ve got cancer.” The impact, however, extends beyond the person receiving the news. Cancer affects the whole family. For couples, there is a profound impact. The challenges that come with a cancer diagnosis, treatment, and recovery can be difficult and long lasting. The words “in sickness and in health” take on an entirely new meaning when cancer enters the picture. Still, most couples can and do get through the experience, and some report a renewed sense of closeness afterward.

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I Didn’t Want Him to Worry

by David A. Koop

I wanted to live, not for me, but for Christopher. It was only a few months until his seventh birthday. Would I still be here to plan his party? I had to figure out how to deal with the new reality of my life, at least what was to be left of it. I did not want Christopher to worry about me. That was much easier in the beginning, before the chemotherapy started to do a number on my body. It started with losing my hair.

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