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.
The Art of Living in the Present
by Katherine Easton, LCSW, OSW-C
Living with cancer often defines how we view not only our lives and our health but also our future. To focus on the future is natural for all of us, as we plan and organize our thoughts and actions about what will happen tomorrow, next week, next month, or even years from now. However, people living with cancer may find themselves constantly worried about their future.
What Can I Do to Feel Better?
by Julie Silver, MD
When I was diagnosed with cancer 10 years ago, I remember my initial shock. I also recall that I had to wait to start treatment. I had medical appointments during that period, but I also had plenty of time to worry. As a rehabilitation physician, I know there is a better way to use this critical window of time between diagnosis and the beginning of treatment – and it’s called cancer prehabilitation.
Handling Holiday Stress
by Samantha Burns Artherholt, PhD
For many of us, the holiday season is a wonderful time of year, bringing with it meaningful traditions and fun family gatherings. However, the holidays can also bring their share of stress, especially for cancer survivors who may be dealing with fatigue or other treatment-related side effects. Keep reading for advice on how to handle common holiday stressors and have a happy, healthy holiday season.
How I Handled Hair Loss with Joy
by Joy Huber
For me, hair loss was the most emotionally painful part of my cancer experience. But I managed to handle my hair loss with joy. There were definitely tears shed, and there was certainly sadness. But I did not stay there. I moved quickly from crying to laughing. Here’s how.
Meditating My Way through Treatment
by Janis L. Silverman, MA
When I learned that I had breast cancer, it felt like a blow to the gut, and to the heart. I was navigating uncharted waters – new doctors, unfamiliar medical terms, so many appointments. It was a lot to digest, but I was determined to remain positive. I had been using guided imagery meditation for years before my diagnosis. But when I searched for meditations specific to my thoughts and feelings about breast cancer, I found nothing.
A Special Message of Encouragement for Men
by Chris Frey, MSW, ACSW, LCSW
As I move through the world of aftercare, cancer prevention, and cancer research, I am amazed and impressed by the organized presence of breast cancer survivors. I have asked myself how this particular group of fellow travelers has created such a powerful voice amongst the multitude of survivors.
Hitting a New Note in Cancer Care Support
by Leanne Flask
Well before Larry Carter received his lung cancer diagnosis, he had already witnessed the role therapeutic music can play in healing the body, mind, and spirit. Larry, activity director for the Victoria Nursing & Rehab Center in Victoria, TX, with 86 people in his care, was an early adopter of therapeutic music delivered through web-enabled devices. He’s seen people connect and light up with old memories, relax and be comforted by the music, and even be inspired to get up and start dancing around the room.