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Emotional Well-being

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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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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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