Dr. Fran on the Emotions of Cancer


Apr 2022


Cancer presents unique challenges and brings up a unique set of emotions and experiences.

During treatments: It is normal and expected that dealing with the emotional and physical trauma of a cancer diagnosis and the treatments one has to endure will be accompanied by feelings of fear, anxiety and deep sadness.

After treatments: The expectation might be that once treatments are over so are the accompanying emotional, cognitive (memory, concentration, attention) and physical challenges. However, there may be short term and/or long-term challenges which need to be addressed and require adjustment. Feelings of anxiety and sadness over these adjustments, grief over any losses or changes to one’s life, and fear about recurrences and what the future might bring are all normal responses to the trauma of having a life-threatening disease.

Continuing Challenges: Common life challenges after cancer treatments:

  • Difficulty getting back into the swing of things
  • Not feeling like yourself
  • Dealing with physical, cognitive (memory, concentration, attention) and emotional changes
  • Reflecting on life choices, present needs and desires, questions about life changes
  • Desire to improve or repair relationships
  • Desire for life to be more satisfying, fulfilling, or simply back to normal
  • Less tolerant and more irritable with people and situations

Getting Help: Fran’s Place is about helping you achieve the tools and resilience needed to deal with the challenges of having cancer and helping you build or maintain a productive, satisfying and meaningful life with strong relationships. As a clinical psychologist and cancer survivor, I know personally how all of these issues are part of having cancer. Whether it’s one visit or many visits, the Fran’s Place Clinical Team is here to help you navigate, problem solve and find ways to manage the thoughts, emotions, cognitive and physical changes.  We help you to reflect on your life, relationship issues and vocational challenges which accompany, arise or come to light when faced with a life-threatening disease. The goal of our work together is focused on healing the emotional pain and fears while building resilience and tools so that your life and relationships are or continue to be productive, satisfying and meaningful. Sessions are private and confidential, and no information is shared with your medical provider unless we together discuss the necessity or helpfulness of this communication.

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