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Cortney Beymer, LSW Belpre Strecker Cancer Center How do people stay so positive after being diagnosed with cancer? Leah Lent, RN Belpre Strecker Cancer Center Meet Leah Lent, our November Strecker employee feature. Leah has been a nurse for the past 23 years. She has nursing experience in both med/surg and hospice but has spent the majority of her career in oncology. She had known that she wanted to be a nurse since she was in seventh grade. She had a dear family friend that was a nurse that she looked up to and inspired her to be a nurse and help others. She has worked at Strecker Cancer Center in the Belpre location for the past nine years. She works in both the chemotherapy area and physician hallway. Leah likes working at Strecker because she enjoys working with oncology patients and their families. She likes to help make the patient's day a little brighter when they come in by giving them her "Leah smile" and always going above and beyond asking them how they are feeling today to asking about their family that they have shared details with her about in previous appointments. Outside of work, Leah enjoys her two kiddos - Isaac, 15 years old and Hannah, 12 years old. ey keep her very busy with their 4H activities and band. Leah is their 4H leader which is right up her alley because she has a great love for all animals. ank you Leah for all you do at Strecker Cancer Center! As a social worker at Strecker Cancer Center, I ask myself this question quite frequently – "How do our patients stay so positive after being diagnosed with cancer?" Working at Strecker, I see patients everyday with different diagnosis, different treatments plans and all dealing with different side effects. It is hard to see the positive in these for me. e diagnoses are life changing, treatment plans are scary and confusing and the side effects can be awful. Every patient handles these differently. But one thing that they seem to have in common is POSITIVITY. Don't get me wrong, there are patients that have bad days (we all do) and have difficulty dealing with their diagnosis (as expected) but when they walk into the office for a doctor appointment, get blood work, or receive treatment; it is a step in the positive direction. ey are moving in the positive direction to try to fight their disease. They could just have easily stayed in bed and given up on treatment but they don't they keep fighting. Some say that staying positive is half the battle and I see that statement being very true with our patients. Most, if not all of our patients take this positivity further by smiling through it all. If our patients didn't smile we would totally understand why they may not feel like smiling but there they are in sitting in the treatment areas smiling every time you walk by. eir smiles are infectious, to other patients and our staff and we appreciate it. I hope that if I were ever to be faced with the diagnosis of cancer, that I would be as brave and positive as our patients at Strecker Cancer Center, I want to thank you all for being a true inspiration. Just in case you need a little push in the positive direction… 20 ways to stay positive after being diagnosed with cancer 1. Look at each day as a new day. 2. Tell yourself you can handle this challenge. 3. Reach out to others for help and validation. 4. Look for silver linings and rays of hope. 5. Count your blessings. 6. Choose to be happy and positive. 7. Use your sense of humor. 8. Take inspiration from survivors/ thrivers. 9. Get creative— adult coloring books help you to clear your mind and relax. 10. Allow yourself to have down days while remembering there can be good to come. 11. Surround yourself with positive people. 12. Ask questions to stay informed sometimes the unknown is more scary. 13. Do not go crazy reading the internet— remember for every negative story there is a positive. 14. Proper diet can impact your mood in a positive way. 15. Don't keep your fears inside talk to your doctor, a nurse, social worker, friend or family. 16. Sleep— lack of sleep is one of the leading causes of anxiety. 17. Seek professional help— there are a lot of great counselors in our area that specialize in dealing with patients diagnosed with cancer. 18. Exercise when possible. 19. Do things that make YOU happy. 20. Never give up HOPE.

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