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Emotional Well-being

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Staying Positive after a Cancer Diagnosis

by Ann Webster, PhD

Cancer survivors face numerous challenges – physical, psychological, social, and spiritual. They also experience stress associated with treatment decisions and side effects. Maintaining optimism, resiliency, and strength is not always easy.

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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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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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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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Women, Cancer, & Sexuality

by Ralph and Barbara Alterowitz

After cancer, women often feel they have lost a significant part of themselves and their sexuality. Mourning is natural. Women need to learn ways to cope with this loss. But when mourning locks you in, when you let it act as a kind of emotional quicksand, it compounds the tragedy of loss. Many women feel that their cancer has not just changed their sense of self, but has damaged it.

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