Emotional Well-being

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Write Your Way through Cancer

by David Tabatsky

Expressive writing can be a wonder­ful tool for clarifying your thoughts, relieving stress, and improving communication skills. Each of these benefits alone is a great reason to write. Who can argue against clearing up the haze of our daily overload of informa­tion, stimulation, and trepidation? Who can object to writing their way to relax­ation? Who can rail against the benefits of better communication?

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Just Got Diagnosed?

by Gary R. McClain, PhD

“I just got diagnosed with cancer. Now what do I do?” As a therapist who works with people facing illness, I hear this question often. People come into my office struggling with their reaction to their cancer diagnosis, as well as all those strange and uncomfortable feel­ings that come with it. We talk about their fears and hopes regarding treat­ment, and we talk about what a cancer diagnosis means for their future.

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Let’s Talk about It

by Julie Larson, LCSW

A cancer diagnosis can impose a great deal of uncertainty into your life. As you struggle to make sense of your experience, you may find it difficult to decipher your needs and feelings, let alone communicate them to the people in your life who want to help.Learning a few simple strategies for better communication can help keep you from feeling misunderstood, isolated, and overwhelmed.

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An Ending or a New Beginning

by Steve Ward

Whenever you face a challenge, you have a choice to make. Will you choose to view the challenge as an ending or as a new beginning?

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Finding Calm in the Midst of Chaos

by Ashley Varner, MSW, MBA, OSW-C

A cancer diagnosis is almost al­ways unexpected. The words “You have cancer” under­standably provoke feelings of fear and confusion, and a sea of questions floods your mind: “What’s going to happen to me?” “What do I need to do?” “How will this affect my family?” It may feel as if your life is spinning out of control, but now is not the time to panic. Instead, consider these concrete approaches to gaining (or regaining) a sense of control.

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Letting Go of Superman

by Chris Frey, MSW, ACSW, LCSW

I vividly remember my excitement six years ago as I began to regain my energy, strength, and focus after completing treatment for stage IV throat and neck cancer. However, along with my progress, I found myself be­coming irritated with my wife as she continued to check in with me, asking about my day, reminding me of my commitments, and making sure I was taking care of myself. The extended period of my dependence on the physical, financial, and emotional care of others coupled with the lingering impact of cancer found me at times responding to sim­ple, well-intentioned questions and concerns as an affront to my manhood.

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Surviving the Emotional Roller Coaster of Cancer

by Anis Rashid, MD

Living with cancer is like being on a roller coaster ride, one that affects not only your physical health but also your emotional and spiritual well-being. A variety of emo­tions may surface as you go through each phase of the ride – from that first big hill of your initial diagnosis to the ups and downs of active treatment to the unexpected twists and turns of survivorship.

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A Playlist for Healing

by Dawn McDougal Miller, MME, MT-BC, FAMI

Music can be a wonderful sup­portive tool for people with cancer. In fact, many cancer survivors say that listening to music while they’re receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy changes the entire feeling of the room from clinical and impersonal to comfortable, relaxing, and healing.

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