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Emotional Well-being

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Write to Heal

by Nancy Morgan

Convincing people with cancer to write about their thoughts and feelings as a coping strategy can be a hard sell. From that first elementary school essay, for many people, writing means dead­lines, criticism, comparison, rejection. “I can’t write,” they say. “I’m not a writer. No thanks.”

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When Cancer Calls into Question Everything You Thought You Knew

by Michael Eselun, BCC

Most of us walk through our lives feeling so certain of what we hold to be true; then along comes a crisis – like cancer – and sud­denly all bets are off. But I’m a good person, so God will heal me… God doesn’t give us any more than we can handle… If you haven’t said such platitudes to yourself, you’ve undoubtedly heard them countless times from others. While these statements of faith may have seemed true at another time and place, right now, in these cir­cumstances, they just fall flat.

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Surviving Cancer With Music by Your Side

by Suzanne B. Hanser, EdD, MT-BC

Whether you have cancer, had cancer, or are caring for some­one with cancer, that word – cancer – likely enters your mind a lot. Once cancer becomes part of your vocabulary, it may be hard to think about anything else. Taking up so much space in your thoughts, it can all too quickly and easily start to take over your identity.

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Art & Meditation

by Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC

Art. Meditation. These two words stir performance anxiety in many of us. In fact, you may be thinking to yourself, This sounds nice, but it’s not for me. However, I’m hoping you will keep an open mind and read on. Because when it comes to using art and meditation to emotionally heal from cancer, neither experience nor talent is necessary to reap the rewards.

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Emotions and 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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New Normal? What’s That?

by Nancy Stordahl

It’s been more than six years since my breast cancer diagnosis, so it’s time to start taking stock of things, or so I’ve been told. I’m supposed to start putting cancer behind me and find my new normal, whatever that means. Society seems to be nudging – no, more like pushing – me to hurry up. Be done. Put it behind me. Move on. Forget about it. Get back to the way things were. The trouble is, it’s not that simple, or even possible. I will never be done with cancer. And guess what? I don’t even want to be.

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Cheers to the Holidays…

by Kaylene Chadwell

For most, the holiday season is a wonderful time of year, filled with cherished traditions and time spent with loved ones. However, when you’re dealing with cancer, the holiday hub­bub of decorating, shopping, cooking, planning, and cleaning can become exhausting and stressful. While there’s no right or wrong way to celebrate, here are some tips to help you have a cheerful, stress-free holiday season.

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The Garden That Heals

by Jenny Peterson

“Don’t let cancer define you, Jenny. You are more than your diagnosis.” This was the advice from my doctor when she gave me the news that I had breast cancer, the disease that had killed my mother. It was Friday, May 11, 2012 – I don’t need to look up the date because it’s seared into my memory, like it is for most people with a cancer diagno­sis. I thought, “That’s easy for you to say. You don’t have breast cancer.”

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