June 14, 2024

Call (415) 215-2877 to Schedule an Appointment!

Help with Breast Cancer and Other Cancers

Cancer, from the frightening moment of finding a lump or hearing the diagnosis from your physician, is one of the primal fears that we humans face. We are in the midst of a true epidemic. All of us have friends or family who hear the dreaded words, “You have cancer.” And it truly helps to face this situation with a team of experienced helpers.

Breast cancer has been an area of interest to me since I was a young adult when my beloved grandmother was diagnosed. In the 1970’s at UCSF, I was a biostatistician on a large National Cancer Institute study of breast cancer. For 20+ years, I have been the leader of a large therapy team at Breast Cancer Connections (BCC, formerly CBHP). In that capacity and privately, I have assisted hundreds of cancer patients in finding their way. My grandmother, who ultimately succumbed to cancer, would bake “journey cakes” for her family. These were homey, comforting corn cakes that nourished us as we traveled to unknown places.

New MoonMy journey cake to you is that I bring both counseling skills (guidance and problem solving) and therapy skills (understanding our responses to issues from a “deeper” place) using experience, compassion and wisdom to assist you on this un-chosen path.

Cancer is a life-changing event. Each person who walks the tightrope of cancer from diagnosis, treatment decisions, surgeries, chemotherapy, radiation, and reconstruction, does it in her/his own way. NO ONE can imagine or know the stressful and debilitating nature of this process until it happens to them. Very often, we become sensitive to over-burdening our families and friends with our fears, our treatment experiences, our questions of “why me?” My sacred role as a counselor/therapist is to listen, listen, listen, to keep my heart and mind open to what you are experiencing, to be an emotionally safe port in the storm.

In addition, I will help you express and clarify your full range of feelings, and assist you to become comfortable with all that you are experiencing. Because I have counseled people with cancer for many years, I am able to guide you through the process, help you locate useful community resources, and allay insecurities about whether you are making the most logical decisions about your treatment.

One of the most powerful ways I have to help both cancer patients and those experiencing other medical and life traumas is through the use of a powerful technique called EMDR. (Please see a description of this process on this web site.)

After treatment is a time to process and come to peace with what has happened. It can be a time to renew and regrow our intimate relationships that have often suffered from the cancer journey. Many experience cancer as a turning point in their lives and choose to use therapy as a method to refresh their life choices and direction.

Part of this process is to manage one’s grief at the loss of innocence, coming face-to-face with mortality, seeing for real that each one of us only exists in this body for a limited amount of time.

Asking for help is a strength, a strong step in caring for oneself, a way to use an unfortunate occurrence to become more than we were or knew we could be.

For more information about the services I offer and how they can help, please contact me or call (415) 215-2877.

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