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Emotional Well-being

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Pregnant, with Cancer

by Christine M. Bylewski, LCSW-R

A diagnosis of cancer while pregnant is one of the most confusing emotional experiences for a woman. The juxtaposition of new life in the face of this diagnosis simply does not seem possible at a time when tremendous joy and expectation are the norm. Pregnancy is usually accompanied by a myriad of reactions: Will it be a boy or a girl? Will it be healthy? Whom will this baby resemble? What kind of personality will this child have?

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What Are You Doing to Beat the Odds?

by Morry Edwards, PhD

In the 35 years I have been involved in cancer care, I have seen many people make liars out of statistics – outliving their prognoses or going into complete remission. I always wonder what factors enabled that person to be an outlier and successfully beat the odds. Shouldn’t we study them more closely?

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No One Understands

by Nancy L. Agneberg

“No one understands,” said the two-year breast cancer survivor. “Only people with cancer can understand. I know my family and friends were worried and afraid,” she continued, “but I felt alone. I still do. I wish they understood how I feel, how having cancer feels.”

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After Cancer Diagnosis, Moving Beyond Our Fears

by John Wynn, MD

Cancer requires clear sight. But many people with cancer will tell you that their view of life is blurred by uncertainty and fear. They are uncertain of the technical details left to medical experts and fearful of a process that can feel like life at the roulette wheel. How can we learn to live with uncertainty? How can we move beyond our fears?

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What You Can Do to Reduce Stress

by Reji Mathew, PhD

Stress management is an essential skill set for coping with a cancer diagnosis. Taking the time to learn how to manage stress can yield invaluable benefits; it can build your emotional resilience to buffer the ups and downs of treatment, boost immunity, and help you stay connected to what is meaningful in your life as you go through medical care.

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How to Turn Negative Emotions into Positive Actions

by Margaret Christopher, PhD, MPH, LSW, ACSW

It happened. You received the dreaded diagnosis, and you are being initiated into a club of cancer survivors that you never expected to be in. It is a club that you will be in for the rest of your life.

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Depression in the Older Adult with Cancer

by Andrew J. Roth, MD, and Eliana Balk, BA

“Wouldn’t you feel depressed if you had cancer?” This question is often asked by people with cancer, their family and friends, nursing staffs, and physicians. It’s natural when confronting a cancer diagnosis to feel many different emotions, including sadness, anxiety, fear, and anger. These will usually decrease with time. If, however, these feelings continue to persist or escalate, they may be an indication of a clinically harmful depression. Knowing the signs and symptoms of depression is critical to getting the help you deserve, and to getting back on your feet.

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Blogging Cancer

by Jacki Donaldson

When my husband first threw the word “blog” at me in November 2004, it was as foreign as the cancer terms that had been swirling in my head – stage, grade, nodes, margins. So I barely paid attention to his recommendation that I document my breast cancer journey online. Once I started really listening to him, however, his idea made a lot of sense.

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