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.
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.
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.