Monthly Archives: March 2017

Liz Ganem: Support of Family and Friends

Family and friends can be your most vital supporters when you’re diagnosed with cancer and going through treatment, but your relationships with loved ones can also be strained by this stressful experience. Just when you most need their unstinting support, your loved ones are also dealing with the extreme uncertainty created by a cancer diagnoses, and this may make it hard to provide the support that is needed. The fear experienced by everybody affected by a cancer diagnoses can strengthen some bonds and fray others.

What happens when treatment undertaken in an attempt to extend your life ends up making you feel alienated from your community? How do you deal with the loss of pleasure and connection to the feeling of well-being that makes life worth living?

In today’s episode, I talk with Liz Ganem, writer and middle school teacher. Liz was treated twice—in 2006, when she was pregnant with her son, and again in 2013—for two different for breast cancers. Together we explore our experiences with support from family and friends, as well as the challenges of being in social situations during this time. We conclude with a discussion of some of the strategies that helped us to navigate this tricky time.

All About Hair

When people hear the word “chemotherapy,” hair loss is one of the first concerns that comes to mind. For many, hair loss is an integral and dreaded component of the treatment to fight cancer.

The hair on our heads is important beyond its basic functions of protecting the scalp and regulating body temperature. Hair symbolizes physical strength, vitality, and virility. Physical attractiveness can be closely linked with hair. Hair that flows signifies health and freedom.

What happens when all of your hair falls out during cancer treatment? How do you deal with this loss, which is a sign to yourself and to the world that you are ill.

In today’s episode, I talk with Rory Green —writer, psychotherapist, workshop leader—who in 2015 was treated for breast cancer. Together we explore our experiences in dealing with hair loss and the changes in self-perception that accompany cancer treatment, as well as the period post treatment when your hair begins to grow back.