*June 2020* by Tess Taft, msw, licsw ©all rights reserved

When a diagnosis of cancer lands with a thud in people’s lives, treatment and uncertainty strain all the ways they know how to cope. They and their loved ones often feel shoved off a cliff, in free fall, and emotionally shattered. Immediately lost is the assumption that the person with cancer will die of old age. The sense of a long anticipated future disappears, and the present can feel intolerable. How do people cope with these new, scary experiences they were never taught to expect or handle? How do their loved ones cope? What about the children? It’s complicated.

Let’s look at two of the ten common ways that people handle cancer, and at some suggestions that might make the path easier. These coping styles are not in any particular order. One or more of them might feel very familiar to you, and you might recognize them in other people. Read more.