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Emotional Well-being

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The Good News about Feeling Bad

by John L. Shuster Jr., MD

Many people believe that depression is a given with cancer. This is not the case. While a cancer diagnosis is certainly distressing and can be a source of worry, apprehension, discouragement, or sadness, the great majority do not develop clinical depression. It is important, however, to watch for the signs of depression and treat depression early if it develops, but it is also important not to spend emotional energy worrying about developing depression as if it were inevitable.

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Maintaining Your Emotional Health after Cancer

by Kristin Kilbourn, PhD, MPH

A diagnosis of cancer can create a great deal of disruption in your life. It is estimated that approximately one-third to one-half of all people diagnosed with cancer experience high levels of distress during their illness, and some may develop depression and anxiety disorders. Early identification of depression and anxiety is important so that you may receive timely treatment and minimize the potential long-term complications.

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The Power of Forgiveness

by Mary Fisher Bornstein, LISW-S, and Betsy Kohn, MA, PC

In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Forgiveness is not an occasional act; it is a permanent attitude.” This attitude often translates into a lifestyle; one where we are able to stop blaming others for what happens to us and take responsibility for our own actions. We are able to focus on learning from what we are doing, rather than pointing a finger at others.

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Grief – The Unspoken Side Effect of Cancer

by Sharon Roth-Lichtenfeld, ACC, CPC, ELI-MP, Paula Holland De Long, ACC, CPCC, and Tambre Leighn, MA, CPC, ELI-MP

A kick in the gut, ice water running through your veins, your heart dropping into your stomach – this is what you can feel when hearing those three words: “You have cancer.” In that instant, your life changes. Shock, disbelief, fear, and chaos accompany the news. Overwhelm and confusion kick in.

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Five Reiki Ideals for Cancer Survivors

by Marsha R. Drozdoff, ACSW, LCSW, CRMT

From the time of diagnosis, you may wonder if life will ever be the same. Stress and worrisome thoughts can feel like an uninvited stranger who demands your attention and respects no boundary when you want to focus on anything but cancer. Reiki can become an invited guest into your life and can help you better manage all stages of treatment, as well as your survivorship transformation.

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The ABCs of Hope

by Greg Pacini, MS, LPC, CGP, CHTP

Holding on to hope can sometimes feel like holding on to sand in an open hand. And believe it or not, that feeling has a medical explanation.

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Getting the Psychosocial Support You Need

by Alan B. Astrow, MD

At one time, physicians focused mainly on the technical aspects of can­cer treatment and paid little attention to the psychological or social needs of the people they were treating. For instance, men with prostate cancer may have been unprepared for the bodily changes that accompanied surgery or ra­diation, and young people who were cured of leukemia af­ter physically difficult treat­ment courses may not have known what to expect later on.

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Facing the Fear of Recurrence

by Richard Dickens, LCSW-R

President Franklin D. Roosevelt said it best in his inauguration address in 1933: “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” In other words, the event we most fear could change our life, but the fear of that event (which might not even happen) can be more disruptive. Chronic fear is insidious.

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