I have been fortunate to discover a copy of "The Cancer Survivor's Companion" through my local libray. It is written by Dr Frances Goodhart, a clinical psychologist who consults with the Macmillan Cancer Support Service in the UK. The book provides useful strategies for dealing with worry and anxiety, depression and low mood, anger, self esteem and body image, relationships and sexuality, fatigue, sleep and relaxation. The book is an excellent resource for people who have completed treatment as well as people who are undergoing treatment for cancer. It provides useful strategies for patients as well as hints and advice to family and friends. My favourite chapters were on dealing with anxiety and changes to body image. The chapter on anxiety discusses common worries surrounding cancer including check ups, relapse and worries about the future. One of the things that I found really helpful was that the book acknowledges that it is normal to feel worried about these issues. The book goes on to examines common thought errors that cause anxiety and provides useful strategies for the reader to try. I also liked the chapter on body image. The chapter talks about acknowledging the changes that have occurred as a result of cancer treatment and allowing yourself time to greive your losses. It goes on to discuss dealing with comments (or silences)from people you know (and well meaning strangers)in response to physical changes, for example- hair loss and scars. I highly reccommend this book- I wish it was available through the cancer council (although,I did see a copy at my local book shop).
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I would have found the stuff on body image helpful over a year ago.My counsellor gave me lots of written info rmation at the that time. I haven't looked at it for a long time but know it's there if I get depressed.
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