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Emotional Well-being

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Grief

by Sharon Roth-Lichtenfeld, CPC, PPC, ELI-MP, Paula Holland De Long, ACC, CPCC, and Tambre Leighn, MA, PCC, ELI-MP

Everyone experiences it. Some people fear it, desperately seek­ing to get out of it quickly. Others wrap it around themselves and sink deeply into it, sometimes for years. It’s more than just a feeling – it’s a process. It is grief. Grief is the conflicting feelings and inner turmoil caused by the end of – or change in – something. Many people have this notion that they can avoid grief. But, guess what? You can’t. It’s part of the human experience.

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When Cancer Comes Calling:

by Kerry Cox Irish, LCSW, OSW-C

May was in her early 30s when she was diagnosed with ad­vanced breast cancer. When we met, she was using a wheelchair, no longer able to walk due to spinal me­tastases. May described herself as “an open book.” And, indeed, she gener­ously shared her life’s story with me and with others in the weekly cancer support group I was leading.

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Feeling Anxious? Depressed?

by Isabel Schuermeyer, MD

A cancer diagnosis is a life-changing event – one that can seriously affect your mental well-being. Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders are common among cancer survivors, even among those who have never experienced these kinds of mental health issues before. People without strong social support systems have a higher risk of developing mood and anxiety disorders after being diagnosed with cancer.

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The Power of Acceptance

by Michael J. Russer

In October 2011, I was diagnosed with prostate cancer. Despite the encouraging biopsy results that indicated a slow-growing, early-stage cancer, I chose to listen to my intuition and insisted that my doctors remove my prostate immediately. It’s a good thing they did because the post-surgery tissue studies showed that the cancer was extremely aggressive.

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Write to Heal

by Nancy Morgan

Convincing people with cancer to write about their thoughts and feelings as a coping strategy can be a hard sell. From that first elementary school essay, for many people, writing means dead­lines, criticism, comparison, rejection. “I can’t write,” they say. “I’m not a writer. No thanks.”

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When Cancer Calls into Question Everything You Thought You Knew

by Michael Eselun, BCC

Most of us walk through our lives feeling so certain of what we hold to be true; then along comes a crisis – like cancer – and sud­denly all bets are off. But I’m a good person, so God will heal me… God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle… If you haven’t said such platitudes to yourself, you’ve undoubtedly heard them countless times from others. While these statements of faith may have seemed true at another time and place, right now, in these cir­cumstances, they just fall flat.

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Surviving Cancer With Music by Your Side

by Suzanne B. Hanser, EdD, MT-BC

Whether you have cancer, had cancer, or are caring for some­one with cancer, that word – cancer – likely enters your mind a lot. Once cancer becomes part of your vocabulary, it may be hard to think about anything else. Taking up so much space in your thoughts, it can all too quickly and easily start to take over your identity.

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Art & Meditation

by Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC

Art. Meditation. These two words stir performance anxiety in many of us. In fact, you may be thinking to yourself, This sounds nice, but it’s not for me. However, I’m hoping you will keep an open mind and read on. Because when it comes to using art and meditation to emotionally heal from cancer, neither experience nor talent is necessary to reap the rewards.

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