After Cancer, Looking Forward Gratefully
by Amy Lynn Dee, EdD
How did this happen to me? I followed all the rules, consumed healthy food, exercised regularly, got routine check-ups, went to church, volunteered, and generally felt vigorous and well. Still, cancer marched in and made itself a home in my lymphatic system.
Take Control of Worry
by Sage Bolte, PhD, LCSW, OSW-C, CST, and Drucilla Brethwaite, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C
Lauren, a devoted mom of two young children, committed partner, competent professional, diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer, arrived in the office pleading, “I don’t want to feel like this anymore. This worry is taking too much of my time.” When faced with a cancer diagnosis, even the most resilient individuals can find themselves experiencing strong emotions resulting from distressing thoughts unlike any they have ever experienced before.
When Words Heal
by Sharon A. Bray, EdD
Fifteen years ago, numb from treatment for early-stage breast cancer, I signed up for a weeklong writing workshop at the urging of a friend. While I looked forward to it, I had mixed emotions, and on the first day, I entered the classroom full of doubt and anxiety.
by Katherine Easton, LCSW, OSW-C
When people think about the side effects of cancer treatment, physical effects like fatigue, hair loss, and nausea and vomiting are often what come to mind. However, cancer survivors are at risk of developing another rarely discussed, and far less visible, side-effect – depression. This unwelcome, and often unexpected, guest can even affect people who may normally have healthy coping skills.
Tools for Coping with Stress
by William Penzer, PhD
Let me be blunt. I am seventy-three-and-a-half years old. In 2005, when my 31-year-old daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer, I came undone. I was flooded with stress and anxiety for the better part of a year. The aftershocks lasted a couple more. And I am a skilled psychologist who is used to helping people through difficult journeys. It was undeniably the very worst experience of my life.
The Daily Zoo
by Chris Ayers
When I started drawing an animal a day in 2006 on the one-year anniversary of my April 1st leukemia diagnosis (that’s right, I was told that I had cancer on April Fools’ Day!), I certainly had no idea that I would still be adding to this collection over three thousand days later. In fact, at that time, I wasn’t sure whether I would still be alive nine years later.
What about a Support Group?
by Mary C. McCarthy, BSN, RN-BC
Support groups are frequently recommended for people who are facing a change or challenge in life. Groups of people gathering for information, help, and networking is nothing new. A cancer diagnosis often leads a person or a family to find a support group.
Top 5 Journaling Myths Busted!
by Sharon K. Swanson, MFA, MPA
As a writer working in a hospital, I have seen first-hand how intimidating a cancer survivor’s list of “shoulds” can be. That’s why I prefer to offer journaling as a comfort or a distraction during and after cancer treatment, not as one more thing you “should” be doing as a cancer survivor.