"Few people are more qualified to address all of these topics than the Rosenbaums...and many of their insights gleaned from this long experience are distilled here."

Coping With Cancer

Coping refers to how we deal with problems or difficulties. Here you will find articles written to help your emotional well-being including how to deal with frustration and anger, understand the reasons why cancer can bring depression, how to identify these emotions and tips on what you can do. You’ll also find some inspirational stories written by patients.

Coping with Cancer: Ten Steps toward Emotional Well-Being

Authors: Andrew Kneier, Ph.D. Ernest Rosenbaum, M.D. Isadora R. Rosenbaum, M.A. Diane Behar Pat Fobair, L.C.S.W., M.Ph.

Key Concepts: Explores coping strategies including denial, taking a realistic or participatory stance, balancing optimistic and pessimistic thoughts, reaching out for support.

In This Article: The article delivers a set of strategies beginning with the early thoughts that drive our hopes and fears, using examples drawn from patients and their experience. It offers examples of coping strategies such as denial, taking a realistic stance, balancing hopes and fears, expressing both optimistic and pessimistic thoughts, reaching out for support, the positive effects of taking a participatory stance. The emotional and psychological journey then covers how some patients have used cancer as an opportunity for positive change and a source for of new awakenings. The article aims to improve a patient's quality of life by outlining how others have successfully or not so successfully managed the goals and challenges of cancer - some medical and physical, some emotional, and others interpersonal and spiritual. The authors remind the readers throughout, that these methods may vary due to personality, life situation, and past experience.

The ten coping strategies suggested here are for all patients, whether you are newly diagnosed, undergoing medical treatment, or dealing with one of the many stages of cancer, including terminal cancer.

The Art of Forgiveness

Author: Frederic Luskin, Ph.D.

Key Concepts: Why it is in your best interest to forgive. Learn the four stages of forgiveness and the detailed steps toward forgiveness.

In This Article:The authors present a case for why it is in your best interest to forgive - whether it's forgiving others, yourself, or the world in general. The article then covers the four stages of forgiveness beginning with Step One, consisting of both active and submerged anger, as well as a great deal of pain, Step Two, the dimensions of awareness of the suffering and the nature of the problem, Step Three, the feelings and wisdom gained by the act of forgiving, and Step Four, when you make the choice to rarely take offense in the first place. To help learn the art, the author, a recognized expert, provides great detail laying out the steps toward forgiveness.

I don’t want to waste my precious life in the discomfort caused by anger or hurt, so I will decide to feel differently. I am able to forgive myself, forgive others, forgive life, and forgive God.

Coping with Depression

Author: Andrew W. Kneier, Ph.D.

Key Concepts: Learn how depression caused by cancer differs based on a patient’s life situation, age, and history – you are not alone in your feelings.

In This Article:The author covers the nature of depression, it's sources, both psychological and biochemical, the unique forms of depression that cancer can cause based on a patients age, life stage, life history, and physical impact. He then provides tips on what to do personally, with the help of others, and through medical treatments.

Another aspect of depression is that it may cause you to withdraw from others and to turn inward... If necessary, circle this paragraph, leave it for someone who cares about you to see, and write “Help me” in the margin.

Coping with Cancer: One Patient's Way of Coping

Author: Diane Behar

Key Concepts: A personal commentary of Diane Behar told during her fifty-fifth course of chemotherapy in her sixth year of treatment.

In This Article: Here you will find the personal commentary of Diane Behar during her fifty-fifth course of chemotherapy. Her six years of treatment represent an experience that has led her to adopt some coping strategies she shares mirroring the ten steps of the main article relating to coping.

I stand up to death with a courage I myself do not comprehend, and I do not permit myself to give in to a fear of dying.


Coping with Cancer: Feeling Right When Things Go Wrong: Beliefs I Use to Help Me to Stay Alive

Author: Pat Fobair, L.C.S.W., M.Ph.

Key Concepts: A patient and health practitioner discusses her coping strategy based on rational science and the human response to that which threatens our mortality.

In This Article: Here you will find the reflections of someone who is both a patient and a practitioner. Pat Fobair shares her coping strategy drawn from the field of applied psychology where strength is drawn by clinging to what rational science teaches us about the human response to a challenge that threatens our mortality.

...it helped me to notice my feelings of sadness, fear, and anger as soon as possible, and give myself permission to feel disappointment directly. I feel less defensive sooner when I can do this.