When you’re faced with a serious illness like cancer, it can feel like the floor has dropped out from under you. Cancer brings up many emotional hurdles: adjusting to life as a patient; dealing with side effects of treatment and changes to your body; juggling your own feelings while also navigating family members’ and friends’ reactions; and facing the limitations of your body in a new, real way.
As a psychologist with specialty training in psycho-oncology, or therapy for the specific challenges that cancer patients face, I understand that every step of cancer recovery comes with its own challenges. I offer therapy for cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers to help with emotional healing at all stages of the illness.
Therapy for a Recent Cancer Diagnosis
A life-threatening illness is hard to get used to. Recently diagnosed cancer patients have to adjust to their new diagnosis at the same time that they are making decisions about how to treat it, how to pay for it, how to live with it, and how not to die from it. Many people find it helpful to talk to a therapist as they come up with a plan to tackle a new cancer diagnosis.
Therapy during Cancer Treatment
People going through cancer treatment face a variety of unique challenges. If you’re going through chemotherapy, you might want a therapist who knows about neutropenia and who won’t balk at the prospect of wearing a surgical mask in session. During radiation, you might want a therapist who doesn’t mind working around your daily appointments. When you’re facing surgery, you might want a therapist who supports pain management and who can help you mobilize the care you need at home. You don’t need to go through this alone.
Therapy for Cancer Survivorship
Cancer survivorship can be a tougher hurdle than many people expect. As treatment comes to an end, support systems can fade away, and patients face a looming sense of “what now?” What will life look like now that you’ve stared death in the eyes? What will your relationships be like now that you’ve been through an ordeal that your loved ones have not? How will you face the anxiety of follow-up scans and tests? We can work through these and other questions to make cancer survivorship something that you can be proud of.
Therapy for End of Life
Those with a terminal diagnosis face terror in a different way. We can work together to help you regain control of what you can, and to mourn the loss of what you can’t control. We can work through the task of managing this illness while also cherishing this life. And we can talk out what kind of legacy you want to leave in this world, and what steps to take that will make that happen.
Therapy for Cancer Caregivers
Parents, friends, spouses, and adult children of cancer patients never need to worry about burdening their therapist. In my practice, I support these caregivers as they support the cancer patients in their lives. And with my background in psycho-oncology, I know what they might be going through so I know how best to offer guidance and support.
I offer some reduced-fee therapy appointments for cancer patients who have documented financial limitations.