Topic: Caregiving

Cancer and Mental Health – What’s Really Going On? Part 1

Published by on April 14, 2021 1 Comment

Why does cancer affect your mental health? And, is there anything you can do for your mental health with cancer to make life a little bit less stressful in the meantime? You may or may not know this, but… I’ve been a professional counsellor for the last 30+ years. And I’ve helped thousands of folks through incredibly hard times. Without tooting my own horn too much, it’s safe to say I know a thing or two about mental health! 🙂 Working so closely with cancer patients and their loved ones during the past decade, since CTOAM began, has made me realize, even more deeply, how crucial it is to have awareness about what you’re going through emotionally… How Cancer and Mental Health Affect You You...
Read Article


How to Beat Stage 4 Neuroendocrine Cancer

Published by on March 24, 2021 | Share your thoughts

“I’m just really grateful. Because I don’t think Korey would still be here if we weren’t involved with you.” That’s Erin talking about her husband, Korey, who went from a rare, complex stage 4 neuroendocrine cancer diagnosis to remission in less than a year. Sounds too good to be true, I know – but it’s not. This is the power of Precision Oncology. And it all started with Erin and Korey’s unshakable determination to advocate for better cancer care. 🧬 Erin found CTOAM after standard care had left Korey with no more options. She knew she had to find a way to get him the help he needed…and their three young kids needed her to stay strong. She refused to give up hope. So she...
Read Article


7 Ways to Accept Support When You Have Cancer

Published by on January 20, 2021 1 Comment

It took a while – 3 years, to be exact – but Barbara finally learned to accept help from others.  Who was her teacher? Cancer.  Now, I’m the first to say that having cancer is just crap. It sucks. (To put it mildly.) Period. AND…having cancer also forces you to grow in ways you could’ve never imagined. You see, Barbara was diagnosed 6 years ago with cervical cancer.  She’s doing fine now, thanks to a second opinion from Alex and our team at CTOAM!  But back then – before she reached out to us – things were not going well.  She was still only using standard care at that time, which meant chemo.  On her best days, she felt a bit weak and fatigued…and on...
Read Article


Emotional Support for Cancer Patients: A Simple Way to Get More!

Published by on December 30, 2020 1 Comment

Susan will never forget the day when she was recovering from breast cancer surgery in the hospital. (Who is Susan, you ask? That’s psychologist Susan Silk – and through her experience with breast cancer, she’s learned a LOT…not just about cancer, but about the dos and don’ts of emotional support for cancer patients.) But back to that time in the hospital… Understandably, Susan didn’t feel like having any visitors that day. She was exhausted and just wanted to be alone to rest and recharge. So when a colleague unexpectedly came to visit her, Susan explained to him how she felt. Guess what he said to Susan? “Well, this isn’t about you!”  Hmm… I think you’ll probably agree that this is not the best way he...
Read Article


My Personal Story…Dealing with Cancer in the Family

Published by on October 8, 2020 2 Comments

Michelle Morand here. I co-founded CTOAM, alongside research scientist Alex Rolland, over a decade ago. Each day we hear stories from people around the world who are struggling with cancer. So I thought it was high-time that I shared a personal story with you…about my own experience with cancer in the family. Like a Punch in the Gut… I had a beloved uncle who was like a father to me. He was a pianist who inspired my love of music and his sweet little dog, Inch, cemented my own love of animals. He was the family member I related to the most. I loved him dearly.   When he was diagnosed with cancer I was devastated…as was my mother, his big sister. Determined to do everything we could...
Read Article


What NOT to Say to a Cancer Patient | Newsletter Issue 9

Published by on December 17, 2018 | Share your thoughts

You can either love or dread spending time with your family over the holidays, but one thing is certain: if someone in your family has cancer, other people may struggle with what to say or how to handle their own emotions in the situation. Susan Silk is a clinical psychologist who developed something called the Ring Theory – a simple template for how to act around people in a crisis situation. Her Ring Theory can help cancer patients and caregivers have a better understanding of how to navigate their emotional needs. This can come in particularly handy at Christmas! → Feel More Supported with These Resources Check out Issue 9 of the CTOAM newsletter to learn about how the Ring Theory can help you and your loved ones. Do you...
Read Article


What is the Ring Theory for Cancer Patients?

Published by on December 16, 2018 | Share your thoughts

How to Support a Loved One with Cancer The inspiration for the Ring Theory began when psychologist Susan Silk had breast cancer. She underwent surgery for it, and during her recovery in the hospital, Susan found that she didn’t feel like having visitors. This is a common feeling for many cancer patients – they’re exhausted by treatment or the emotional toll, and simply don’t have energy to give to others. But Susan quickly learned that her friends didn’t necessarily understand this. When she tried explaining to a colleague, who had come to visit, that she just wasn’t in the mood, it didn’t go well: her colleague responded to Susan by saying, “This isn’t about you!” Meaning that, Susan’s needs were a lower priority that those...
Read Article