When the Psychologist Is Also the Patient

When I was contacted about giving a workshop on managing the fear of recurrence at a conference of breast cancer survivors, I knew I would have a lot to offer. As a psycho-oncologist and breast cancer survivor myself, I could talk both from the heart and brain. Little did I know that I would have even more to offer than that.

Want To, Don't Want To: The Psychology of Craving

What does it mean to crave something?

The "Oy" in "Joy"

When my dental hygienist asked me if any new medical conditions had popped up since my last visit, I thought nothing of telling her about my recent breast cancer diagnosis. I was soon very sorry I did.

Why We Write

What do books do for us, exactly?

Suffering, Meaning, Hope

In his famous memory study, Frederic Bartlett found that memory was an act of reconstruction: subjects unconsciously changed the material, for example, by supplying missing rationalizations for the characters' behavior, changing causal connections and imposing a more western order on the material.

Boy Mom

I don't know too many moms of girls who've had to issue such pronouncements as, No farting at the dinner table, or who suddenly yell out, Hey, who's been peeing on the toilet seat in the powder room?" It wasn't a role that came naturally to me at first; I was slowly seduced into the world of boys.

Shock and Awe: The First Psychological Phase of Coping with Cancer

"I have always known that at last I would take this road. But yesterday, I did not know it would be today."

Cancer Series II: The First Question, or, What Not to Say to a Cancer Patient

Words without context are meaningless. "You'll be fine" may feel heartening one day, and dismissive another.

What Do I Say When Someone I Care About Gets Cancer?

Mortality is one of the few attributes we share with every single other person in the world. And yet when we're dealing with it ourselves, it's the loneliest feeling there is.

Doggerel: About a Dog

This is how much I didn't want a dog....

Coming Home

Our king-size bed used to be such a symbol of fun for me, and not just for the reason you might think.

ChemoWorthy TV 2013

I love television. There was a time when I would have been embarrassed to admit that to my more intellectual friends, or to mothers or colleagues who'd be horrified at my relaxed attitude towards my children's watching habits. But not anymore.