Questions & Answers about Coping with Cancer during the Holidays
People with cancer and their friends and families often approach the holidays with a mixture of conflicting feelings: excitement, worry, hope, exhaustion, and happiness. You may wonder how to maintain old holiday traditions, handle seeing friends after treatment, or be a supportive family member. Here are some common questions asked during the holidays and helpful suggestions.
Creating Havens in a World Marked by Cancer
by JoAnn Semones, PhD
At a time when you are feeling unsafe and vulnerable, it is important to find and create havens. When my partner, Julie Barrow, was diagnosed with cancer, we needed people, places, and things around us to rekindle our spirit and restore our sense of balance. We stumbled upon six concepts that provided us with a sense of refuge, helped us cope, and saw us through treatment.
Music as Therapy
by Brian Abrams, PhD, MT-BC, LPC, LCAT, FAMI
Music therapy is a process wherein a music therapist helps a person restore, maintain, or improve various dimensions of health and/or quality of life through music experiences and therapeutic relationships.
Take the ‘Why Me?’ Out of Cancer
by Beverly Kirkhart
When I first heard that I had breast cancer, I saw in my mind’s eye my mother’s slow painful journey with cancer, and I quickly flashed on other relatives and friends who did not survive this disease. I was scared that I, too, would become one of them – a statistic. I asked myself: Why Me? Have you ever asked yourself this question?
Overcoming Your Inner Everest
by Alan Hobson
I used to think that climbing Everest would be the biggest challenge I would face in my life. That was until I was diagnosed with acute leukemia and given less than a year to live. At the moment of my diagnosis, 90 percent of the cells in my bone marrow were cancerous. Thankfully, I was able to receive a successful adult blood stem cell transplant, the equivalent of a bone marrow transplant. When I emerged from the procedure, my biggest challenge was being able to stand in the shower long enough to wash. My “inner Everest” took me from the top of the world to the bottom in just 120 days of treatment. It was a long fall.
Coping with the Fear of Recurrence
by Mary K. Hughes, MS, RN, CNS
In You Learn by Living, Eleanor Roosevelt wrote, “You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ?I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.?” Living through cancer treatment can be the horror, but for some, living with the fear of recurrence is even worse.
Riding the Emotional Roller Coaster
by Sandra Haber, PhD
Tears, early morning wakening, anxiety, and depression alternate with hopefulness, cancer success stories, and plans for the future. Welcome to the emotional roller coaster of cancer – an extreme ride of changing feelings that affects almost every person with cancer and their caregiver.
Defining a word that’s hard to define
by Roger and Kathy Cawthon
How do you define a survivor? We’ve heard responses ranging from “You are a survivor from the instant a tumor begins to form” to “You are a survivor as soon as all of your treatments are over” to “You are a survivor as soon as the tumor is surgically removed.” Our favorite response is that “You become a survivor the moment you learn your diagnosis and make up your mind to fight.”