Emotional Well-being

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Denial

by Suzanne M. Miller, PhD

Denial can be good. As one of the psyche’s primary defense mechanisms, denial is a natural way of distracting from or selectively editing out a painful reality. Since the late 19th century, however, when Sigmund Freud described denial in his psychodynamic theories as a maladaptive coping defense, the common wisdom has asserted that if we deny negative aspects of our lives, such as a threatening medical situation, we’re probably harming ourselves by not taking actions that could improve our health.

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Overcoming Depression

by Caryl D. Fulcher, MSN, CNS-BC

One of the challenges faced by people with cancer is trying to remain positive during uncertain times. So it is not surprising that experts report that the prevalence of depression among people with cancer ranges from 5 percent to 60 percent, with 20 percent most commonly quoted.

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Adult Cancer Survivors at Increased Risk of Psychological Distress

Long-term survivors of cancer that developed in adulthood are at increased risk of experiencing serious psychological distress, according to a report in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

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Discovering the Treasure Within

by Wendy Treynor, PhD

Failing to appreciate who you are is like failing to appreciate the cereus flower in bloom – a flower that is in bloom for only one night. At the end of your life, you may realize that you threw away the most precious gift you were ever given – your life. Here, I share my story with you, so you won’t make the same mistake I almost made.

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Understanding the Role of Hope in Cancer Care

by Sharon Chappy, RN, PhD, CNOR

Hope is important for people living with cancer, as it helps them adapt to the diagnosis, provide meaning, maintain well-being, and give direction. Recently, 14 people living with cancer and actively undergoing chemotherapy participated in a study where they told their stories of hope.

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What’s So Funny About Cancer?

by Mack Dryden

I’m a comedian and a two-time cancer survivor, and I make people laugh about my experiences with the disease until their faces hurt. Unusual job, true, but I want to convince people that it’s not only okay but also a duty to laugh if you’re touched by cancer.

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Writing - It's Good for You

by Nancy Pierce Morgan, MA

The emotional burden of cancer can be overwhelming. Knowing how and when to express emotions and the benefits of self expression may help. Writing is one particularly accessible and tested method. Writing can be private, yet highly effective in helping people articulate thoughts and feelings about cancer find relief in communicating those feelings.

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now …

by Julie K. Silver, MD

One evening at a cancer survivors’ conference in which I gave a talk, a woman came up to me and told me a story I’ll never forget. She said that she had been diagnosed with breast cancer a year earlier. All during treatment she counted the days until she was finished. Excited about the end of treatment, she made herself a pink graduation cap and gown for her last chemotherapy appointment. As she handed me the picture of her “chemo graduation,” she told me that the happiness she felt when the photo was taken had dimmed over time because she still didn’t feel very well. Then she asked me a question I hear a lot: “Why do I feel so bad so many months later? I thought I was done and would heal right away!”

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