Knowledge is power Katherine Puckett PHD, MS, MSW, LCSW

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Knowledge is power Katherine Puckett PHD, MS, MSW, LCSW

  1. 1. We Can Change the Course of Breast Cancer Looking at Intimacy and the Lingering Effects of Breast Cancer Katherine Puckett, PhD, MS, MSW, LCSW National Director of Mind-Body Medicine Cancer Treatment Centers of America® in Illinois © 2013 Rising Tide
  2. 2. Meet Jayne • Mid-40s, married with kids • Found lumps but waited 6 months to tell anyone • Why? Many fears 2
  3. 3. The stress of cancer can cause 1,400 chemical changes in the body! • To the body, stress is a perceived threat to survival. • When sustained over time, stress can decrease healing and survival rates. 3
  4. 4. Unmanaged Fear and Stress: Impact all our Relationships • Fear is a stressor – especially when prolonged • Fear and stress impact – Relationship with ourselves – Relationships with others 4
  5. 5. Women with Breast Cancer: Common Perceptions Activate Stress • This cancer will take my life. • It must be my fault. God is punishing me. • Life as I knew it is over. • My partner won’t be attracted to me any more. • Treatment is dangerous and ineffective. 5
  6. 6. Perceived Stressors: Real Threats or Not? • Stress is not “out there.” • It is our emotional response to something out there. • Perceived stress often more impactful than actual stressors. 6
  7. 7. Knowledge is Power: Understanding How to Manage Fear • Caring relationship support • Keeping breast cancer in perspective • Knowledge and communication 7
  8. 8. Remember Jayne First-hand knowledge and experience of: • Facing fears in context of caring relationships • Communicating openly with loved ones • Practicing self-care and feeling better • Feeling hopeful about her future 8

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