Patricia Frumkin
With offices in Mountain View and Palo Alto
Phone: (650) 856-4091

Living With Cancer

For most people, dealing with cancer – either your own or a loved one’s – will be one of the biggest challenges you will ever face. Cancer changes your routines, roles and relationships. It can cause money and work problems. The treatment can alter the way you look and feel. Understandably, it can make you feel depressed, angry and unsettled.

As a psychologist, I’m there to help you sort through these different emotions.

Who I See

My patients are all ages, and have all stages of cancer. For most, hearing the statistic that “half of all men and a third of all women in the United States will receive a cancer diagnosis during their lifetimes” is of little comfort. They have received their diagnosis way too early, be they a grandfather in his 70s or a vibrant single woman in her 20s.

Dealing With the Emotions

Whatever your feelings or concerns, the cancer often magnifies “pre-existing” dynamics. In other words, if your spouse is the type who tends to be self-absorbed or withdrawn, having cancer can make you feel even more alone. How do you deal with that? Or you’ve never liked your job, and now you feel trapped in having to stay because of the medical insurance. Or worse, you lose your job. What are your options? Or you want help in figuring out if and how to tell your family and friends, but you’ve never felt very good at doing so. How do you express your feelings and wishes, and how do you deal with their feelings?

We all cope in different ways:

  • Some people come to me to try to sort things out and get things in order, hoping for the best, preparing for the worst.
  • Others receive the wonderful news that their cancer is in remission or they’re “cancer free,” but still want help in figuring out how to make life changes.
  • Some people find strength through religion, but wonder if it will really help.
  • Sometimes it’s a family member who wants to come in, either to learn how to support their loved one, or to help manage their family member.

I know it can be rough. Fear is normal, be it the fear of the unknown or fear of a recurrence. It’s common to feel stressed and overwhelmed, whether you’re the patient, family member or friend. We work through all this together.

To talk more about your individual case, please phone me, (650) 856-4091, to arrange for an appointment.

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