Confronting Cancer as a Couple
by Sandra Bernstein, MSN, RN, CS, LMFT
No one plans for cancer. It drops in suddenly, affecting not only your life but also the lives of everyone who cares about you, especially your spouse or partner. While each couple’s experience is unique, it’s common for the predictability of daily life to be replaced with uncertainty. Whether cancer requires little change in your daily life for a short period or many changes that need to be accommodated over the long haul, change is inevitable. These changes can add stress to your relationship, but they also can create opportunities to deepen your connection.
Know Your Options for Starting a Family after Cancer
by Sarah C. Hessler, MD, and Aimee Seungdamrong, MD
The ability to start a family is now a possibility for increasing numbers of women and men after cancer treatment. If you’ve been wondering whether you’ll be able to have children after chemotherapy or radiation, you’ll be pleased to know that, thanks to advances in the field of reproductive assistance and fertility preservation, you do have several options to consider.
When the Diagnosis is Metastatic Breast Cancer
by Hoda Badr, PhD
If you’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer, you have probably gone through treatment hoping for remission or recovery. However, if your healthcare team tells you that your cancer has metastasized, you and your partner may be facing new choices regarding your care and your future together. This can be a time of frustration, fear, poor communication, and physical discomfort. But this also can be a time of growth, meaning, and healing. By coming to understand each other’s perspective, you and your partner can begin to work as a team to navigate this experience together.
How to Help Your Children Cope with a Sibling’s Cancer
by Lynne M. Kaplan, PhD
Siblings often have a special bond. Even with all the bickering, the love between siblings is strong. When one of those siblings is diagnosed with cancer, their worlds change. While the family meets with the medical team and learns about the cancer and treatment, the children without cancer often aren’t included. Thus, the healthy siblings may wonder what’s going on with their brother or sister.
Becoming a Mother after Breast Cancer Treatment
by Evelyn Mok-Lin, MD, and Glenn Schattman, MD
The opportunity to have children, raise a family, and experience the joys of motherhood is a very real prospect for many young women with breast cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates that there are currently over 350,000 young women between the ages of 20 and 39 years old living with cancer in the U.S. Because there are so many reproductive-age cancer survivors who may want children in the future, the topic of fertility has become increasingly important to a woman’s treatment, recovery, and healing process.
Parenting with Cancer
by Marisa Minor, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
How can I help my children cope with my cancer diagnosis? This question is one of the first many parents ask after being diagnosed with cancer. It may seem inevitable that cancer will have an impact on your child’s life. But the good news is, with healthy coping strategies and open communication among family members, the impact can be positive and meaningful.
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.
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.