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Emotional Well-being

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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.

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Get through Cancer the “Write Way”

by Judith Kelman

Cancer is complicated. Every survivor, every disease, every outcome is unique. The same holds true for coping strategies – you have to find what works best for you. There is no single right way to cope with cancer. However, the “write way” is worth exploring.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You Can Move Past Mood and Anxiety Disorders

by Isabel Schuermeyer, MD

The first step to overcoming mood and anxiety disorders after a cancer diagnosis is to recognize them. Mood and anxiety disorders are very common among people with cancer, even for those who never experienced these types of issues prior to their cancer diagnosis. Many factors can play into the devel­opment of these disorders, including the stress of the illness, the cancer it­self, and its treatment. Those without strong social support systems are at higher risk of developing mood and anxiety disorders.

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