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Personal Relationships

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Five Simple Rules for Talking About Cancer

by Mary Beth Hall

After experiencing many times when telling someone about my breast cancer diagnosis and the person immediately telling me all of their problems in great detail, turning me into the counselor again and again, I wondered what was happening. Why were people putting me in this position when I was already tired from the cancer and the shock? It was completely wearing me out.

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When a Parent Has Cancer

by Paula K. Rauch, MD

Experts consider open parent-child communication the most effective means for supporting a child whose parent has cancer. It is understandably upsetting to children and teenagers to learn about a parent’s cancer diagnosis, but open dialogue about diagnosis, treatment, and the effect cancer will have on the family dynamic is essential. Quality communication can be the difference between a parent’s cancer simply being challenging for a child or it becoming traumatic.

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Angels Among Us

by Philip Chang

Imerman Angels connects a person fighting cancer with someone who has beaten that same type of cancer, completely free of charge. This one-on-one, mentor-type relationship is provided to anyone needing support during his or her battle with cancer, anywhere across the country and worldwide.

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Is There Sex After Cancer?

by Margaret Wilmoth, PhD, MSS, RN, FAAN

Many of you may be asking yourself just that question now that you have moved beyond the initial crisis of cancer diagnosis. What parts of my life have changed? How have my cancer treatments affected my ability to be sexual? Am I still allowed to be a sexual person and engage in sexual intimacy? Am I the only person with these concerns and unanswered questions?

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How to Talk to Your Kids about Cancer

by Peter R. van Dernoot, BS

Today, more than 50 cancer centers are benefiting from our special support program, CLIMB® – Children’s Lives Include Moments of Bravery. From the experience of oncology professionals and families, we’ve distilled a few basic concepts to help parents talk to their children about cancer.

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Cancer: The Unwelcome Guest

by Karen Tripp, MS

Imagine an unwelcome guest showing up in your living room. Beyond being grotesque, foul smelling, and abusive, the guest is dangerous. The unspoken decision is made not to upset him, so conversation among family members is stilted and planned activities grind to a halt, all because of the fear of how the guest will react. The entire household invests itself in eliminating the unwelcome visitor. This unwelcome guest is cancer.

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Breaking Bread Together

by Anne K. Fishel, PhD

When a parent gets a cancer diagnosis, regular family dinners can be one of the first things to go. But dinnertime is worth fighting for. It can provide stability and normalcy to everyone. Dinnertime may be the only time when we come together and leave behind our individual pursuits, like texting, playing video-games, and e-mailing. In cooking and eating with your family, you can nourish each other during a difficult time.

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When Mom Has Cancer

by Katherine Easton, LCSW, OSW-C

Perhaps more than any other illness, cancer is truly a family disease. Families face a myriad of complex issues when adjusting to a new diagnosis of cancer. Fear, anger, and guilt are common emotions expressed by both the woman with cancer and her family. How a family learns to cope and adjust to living with cancer will depend on how well the family functioned before the cancer and how well they can communicate honestly and openly with each other about the experience.

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