Steps toward Rebuilding a Positive Sense of Self after Cancer
by William Penzer, PhD
In an ideal world, after your last cancer treatment your doctor would offer an infusion of self-esteem, a magic potion to plug the holes in your self-image left behind from your journey through Cancerville and replenish your reserves of self-confidence. Unfortunately, it isn’t that easy. If cancer has left your self-esteem in shambles, the task of reclaiming a healthy sense of self will be a unique challenge – but it’s definitely a doable one.
Leaving Fear and Uncertainty Behind
by Merle H. Mishel, PhD, RN, FAAN, and Barbara B. Germino, PhD, RN, FAAN
Everyone experiences feelings of uncertainty now and then. But as a cancer survivor, you may find yourself wrestling with a unique type of uncertainty – the possibility of cancer recurrence. This fear of your cancer returning can linger long after treatment ends.
Write Your Way through Cancer
by David Tabatsky
Expressive writing can be a wonderful tool for clarifying your thoughts, relieving stress, and improving communication skills. Each of these benefits alone is a great reason to write. Who can argue against clearing up the haze of our daily overload of information, stimulation, and trepidation? Who can object to writing their way to relaxation? Who can rail against the benefits of better communication?
Just Got Diagnosed?
by Gary R. McClain, PhD
“I just got diagnosed with cancer. Now what do I do?” As a therapist who works with people facing illness, I hear this question often. People come into my office struggling with their reaction to their cancer diagnosis, as well as all those strange and uncomfortable feelings that come with it. We talk about their fears and hopes regarding treatment, and we talk about what a cancer diagnosis means for their future.
Let’s Talk about It
by Julie Larson, LCSW
A cancer diagnosis can impose a great deal of uncertainty into your life. As you struggle to make sense of your experience, you may find it difficult to decipher your needs and feelings, let alone communicate them to the people in your life who want to help.Learning a few simple strategies for better communication can help keep you from feeling misunderstood, isolated, and overwhelmed.
An Ending or a New Beginning
by Steve Ward
Whenever you face a challenge, you have a choice to make. Will you choose to view the challenge as an ending or as a new beginning?
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.