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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dealing with Difficult Emotions after a Cancer Diagnosis
by Laura S. Porter, PhD
Finding out that you have cancer and then facing the often long, arduous course of cancer treatments can leave you feeling tired, cranky, scared, helpless, frustrated, blue, or all of the above. Everyone is different; some people sail through the experience with only mild bouts of worry or sadness while others struggle all the way through. Most people, however, land somewhere in the middle. Wherever you are on the spectrum, you may find the following suggestions helpful for managing the emotional challenges of cancer.