Four Time Cancer Survivor! Cancer Was The Best Thing To Ever Happen To Me. Find Out Why

Your body, after cancer
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Anxiety and depression can be treated many ways, including medicine, psychotherapy, or both. These treatments can help a person feel better and improve the quality of their life. Please see Anxiety, Fear, and Depression to learn more about this. Support in any form allows you to talk about your feelings and develop coping skills. Studies have shown that many people who take part in support groups have a better quality of life, including better sleep and appetite. A support group can be a powerful tool for both patients and families. Talking with others who are in situations like yours can help ease loneliness.

Others who have had the same experiences may also share ideas that might help you. Contact your American Cancer Society to find out about sources of support in your area.

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You can find support programs in many different formats, such as one-on-one counseling, group counseling, and support groups. You may enjoy a personal connection with a counselor who can give you one-on-one attention and encouragement. Your cancer care team is the best way to get names of counselors in your area. They also have a lot of useful information online at www.

Support groups. Some support groups are formal and focus on learning about cancer or dealing with feelings. Others are informal and social. Some groups are made up only of people with cancer or only caregivers, while some include spouses, family members, or friends. Other groups focus on certain types of cancer or stages of disease.

Dear Cancer: Diary of a five-time cancer survivor (Part 4)

The length of time groups meet can range from a set number of weeks to an ongoing program. Some programs have closed membership and others are open to new, drop-in members.

Questions People Ask About Cancer

Online support groups may be another option. The Cancer Survivors Network, an online support community supported by your American Cancer Society, is just one example. You can find it at csn. There are many other reputable communities on the Internet that you can join, too. Religion can be a source of strength for some people.

Some find new faith during a cancer experience. Others find that cancer strengthens their existing faith or their faith provides newfound strength. If you are a religious person, a minister, rabbi, other leader of your faith, or a trained pastoral counselor can help you identify your spiritual needs and find spiritual support. Some members of the clergy are specially trained to help people with cancer and their families. Spirituality is important to many people, even those who do not observe a traditional religion. Many people are comforted by recognizing that they are part of something greater than themselves, which can help them find meaning in life.

The practice of forgiveness or performing small acts of kindness helps some people. Others meditate, spend time in nature, or practice gratitude — these are just a few of the many ways that people attend to their spiritual needs. You may worry about how your illness and care will affect your family and loved ones.

This is a very tough journey to travel alone, and everyone needs help and support from those close to them. It can be hard to know how to start — who to talk to and what to say. Singles may need to find a friend or family member who can help in these ways.

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This is someone who wants to help and support you, but in order to do that they will need their own support and help. Finances are often a very real concern for people with cancer. Treatment costs a lot.

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Hopefully, you have been able to keep your health insurance. Sometimes there are insurance options that people with cancer may not be aware of. You can also call us for help finding possible sources of financial assistance. Most people think of cancer as a disease that people get, have treated, and either are cured of or die from. When cancer is first found, the hope is for a cure. One in 10 has experienced decreased quality of life because of emotional issues such as anxiety, depression and fear of recurrence. It depends on the individual, she said, but a good place to start is with healthy coping mechanisms that have worked in the past.

Videos Featuring Breast Cancer Survivor Joan Lunden

She sounded anxious and young. These barriers prevent the spread and invasion of malignant cells so that cancer of the glottis true vocal cords tends to remain localized for long periods of time, often six to eight months, before they are discovered. I could wear bustiers, stockings, garter belts. MLA Huzar, Timothy. In , when I visited my oncologist to report severe new aches and pains, I suspected my cancer had returned. Nora K. Welcome to my post-cancer body.

Writing and exercise definitely helped me get through my rough patches trash-talking cancer was another favorite pastime. I started a blog shortly after I was diagnosed and joined a boxing gym six months after treatment. The reconstruction surgeries put a kibosh on the boxing — at least for the time being — but I still keep my hand in with a little lifting and running and a ton of walking. I feel better when I exercise. I feel stronger, both physically and emotionally. One of the things that happens around body image is self-isolation, and that can lead to more depression and less self-care.

Reconstruction, she said, helps many breast cancer survivors feel more like themselves — as it has with me, at last. But others do just fine without it. Another helpful tactic: Seeking out stories of other survivors — whether in books, in person or online. Since being diagnosed in , she has undergone multiple wide-tissue excisions for her persistent malignant melanoma. But it does. Ditto for letting others see her scars and braving their reactions.

A year-old Seattle writer with a big laugh and a love of history, Ann Wendell went through a single mastectomy and chemo for breast cancer in Like many survivors, she then had a hard time figuring out how to present herself to the world post-cancer, especially since she opted not to go through reconstruction. That was important to me. Wearing a prosthetic helped her feel more normal in clothes, she told me. And her humor, her writing and a supportive husband who assured her that her body was beautiful no matter what also helped with self-acceptance. I could wear a corset over my clothes.

I could wear bustiers, stockings, garter belts. Or I could be all buttoned up and still be considered sexy in a very Victorian way. Patients who came home from the hospital to see concentration camp survivors staring back at them in the mirror.

What Patients Should Know in Decision Making

Others who had so much fatigue they could no longer work. A prostate cancer buddy, several years out from surgery, described the penis injections he had to give himself every time he wanted to have sex. An avid cyclist with a thoughtful demeanor, Eric Zytowski is another prostate cancer survivor who went through extensive surgery and treatment after being diagnosed three years ago. First, he had a prostatectomy.

Then five weeks of radiation.

What does surviving cancer mean?

Then he started androgen-deprivation therapy ADT — also known as chemical castration — a treatment that reduces the hormones that can feed the cancer. Soon after, the year-old noticed his muscle tone and body hair were slowly being replaced with hot flashes and brain fog. I met Eric in boxing class, shortly before he, too, hung up his gloves because of cancer- and treatment-related side effects. Two and a half years after the Stage 4 diagnosis, I confessed to my mother that the doctors had said I had two years to live, tops.

I told her this laughing, as if we were trading preposterous stories. I spent the next five years holding my breath, then did the same for another five. Quit work that had grown stale and became a writer. Wrote a book. Went to India on assignment, fell in love with the language that was swirling around me, went back to live for a year and learn Hindi. Take a nap, Lance! About 12 years out, my doctor finally did. This group constitutes about 2 percent of all cases.

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They tend to do well on hormone treatments. End of commonly known story. But as Dr. Gabriel N. Hortobagyi at M. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston told me, you can also find women whose breast cancer spread to organs other than bone, for whom hormone therapy did exactly nothing, who had their lesions surgically excised and who have been free of cancer for 30 years. None of these women could have expected to live. View all New York Times newsletters.