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Emotional Well-being

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The Importance of Hope

by Lois M. Ramondetta, MD

Although there are many definitions of hope, my perception of hope involves a dynamic response to the rough waves on the sea of life. It is the expectation that good will come despite challenging circumstances. Although some have described hope as a passive process, it is most certainly an active internal process requiring motivational energy. That said, one’s ability to foster hope is, without question, deeply affected by the external state of affairs and by other individuals.

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Overcoming the Emotional Challenges of Cancer

by Dawn Speckhart, PhD

Many different emotions arise after someone is diagnosed with cancer. Like most people with cancer, Greg wanted to continue with life as if nothing was wrong. He was willing to complete necessary treatments, but minimized everything. Most people want to play down the impact of their cancer diagnosis so that they don’t worry their family and friends. In truth, this strategy is an attempt to deny that they are worried themselves. What this strategy really does is leave the person with cancer to worry alone.

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Creativity and Coping

by Monica Armstrong

Picture a visual artist painting her way through life, focused on beauty and meaning and cherishing the peaceful process of creative work. One evening the phone rings, and the word “cancer” drains all the colors away. Bleakness enters as fear blackens her vision of life.

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Depression & Cancer

Depression not only affects your brain and behavior – it affects your entire body. Dealing with more than one health problem at a time can be difficult, so proper treatment is important.

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Live in the Moment

by Dave Balch

Dealing with cancer is not just about cancer; it’s about life with cancer. It’s about all of the stresses, joys, and responsibilities you already had in your life, in addition to the new stresses and responsibilities that come with serious illness. It’s easy to get bogged down.

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When Life Hurts, Writing Helps

by Sharon A. Bray, EDD

I’d come to the writing workshop after completing radiation treatment for early-stage breast cancer two weeks earlier. Despite an intensive week of writing, I had avoided any mention of cancer. To write about it was an admission of vulnerability. Denial was a comfortable overcoat, and I had no desire to discard it.

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When life does not go according to our desires and expectations, we frequently react with anger. The anger that stems from coping with a deadly disease can be more intense than what people experience in more ordinary circumstances and can surface in unexpected ways at surprising times. The hand you have been dealt could seem unfair, and you may ask, “Why me?”

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The Role of Spirituality in Cancer Care

The terms spirituality and religion are often used in place of each other, but for many people they have different meanings. Religion may be defined as a specific set of beliefs and practices, usually within an organized group. Spirituality may be defined as an individual’s sense of peace, purpose, and connection to others and beliefs about the meaning of life. People may think of themselves as spiritual or religious, or both.

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