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Emotional Well-being

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Creating a Cancer Legacy Project

by Paulette Kouffman Sherman, PsyD

When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I realized that my life might end up being shorter than I had originally thought. And it became the push I needed to accomplish my dream of leaving behind a legacy of books.

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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.

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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.

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How Walking a Labyrinth Helped Me to Heal after Cancer

by Robin B. Dilley, PhD

As a breast cancer survivor, I found the end of treatment to be absolutely terrifying.I needed something to help me cope with the emotions I was experiencing in the wake of cancer. It just so happened that as my treatment ended, a beautiful labyrinth was permanently installed in downtown Phoenix, AZ, near where I live.

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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.

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Depression

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.

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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.

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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.

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