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| Press Release

A Cancer Survivor's Guide to Understanding the Emotional Arc and Psychological Challenges Associated with a Diagnosis

New book teaches cancer community how to cope and face the unfathomable with insight from a psychotherapist and two oncologists

AUSTIN, TX / ACCESSWIRE / February 23, 2021 / Nothing can truly prepare a person for the emotional rollercoaster of a cancer diagnosis. However, the new book The Big Ordeal: Understanding the Psychological Turmoil of Cancer (River Grove Books) by Cynthia Hayes is aimed at helping newly diagnosed patients and their loved ones anticipate and respond to the emotional journey ahead. Available today, The Big Ordeal is based on interviews with more than 100 patients, caregivers, oncologists, neuroscientists and other experts, and endorsed by doctors at leading institutions as the go-to book for those who seek to better manage the cancer experience.

Coping with cancer is hard. Yet, most medical professionals and books on cancer often overlook the psychological side effects related to the disease and its treatment. Written by Hayes, a cancer survivor, with the help of a psychotherapist and two oncologists, The Big Ordeal presents the typical emotional response to a cancer diagnosis, illustrated by patient and caregiver stories, and explains the science behind those emotions, helping you to understand why you feel the way you do while offering advice on how to cope. From the stories of patients, survivors and caregivers, Hayes believes that readers will feel less isolated and fearful and more encouraged during their healing journey.

As a former freelance journalist, Harvard Business School graduate, management consultant and marketing executive, Hayes has a gifted ability to communicate the hardship of coping with cancer. She hopes The Big Ordeal will offer inspiration and understanding to the nearly 14 million people who will receive a cancer diagnosis this year.

Hayes discusses the motivation behind writing this book: "Despite excellent care and a loving support network, I felt scared, anxious and very isolated with my emotions when I heard that I had cancer. But no one should go through cancer feeling alone. Prior to my diagnosis, I resigned from Montefiore Medical Center, where for three years I had served as vice president and chief marketing officer, focused on telling stories of health and recovery. This experience allowed me to sharpen the story-telling expertise gained through my consulting practice and build relationships with many professionals in the cancer field so that I could help others understand that emotional turmoil is a common response to a cancer diagnosis."

The author continues, "Every day we understand a little bit more about how to cope with cancer. Through expert research, we're learning what we can expect, discovering how to manage symptoms and even understanding how chemical changes in the body drive emotions. With this book, I aim to tackle the emotional side of this experience head-on to help patients and their loved ones anticipate the psychological turmoil ahead."

In The Big Ordeal, Hayes helps readers:

  • Learn about the typical sequence of emotions you can expect, from diagnosis through treatment and beyond.
  • Discover how other patients have experienced cancer and the emotions they share.
  • Understand the science behind the emotions and how cancer and its treatment contribute to how you feel.
  • Gain insight into coping styles, exercise benefits, complementary medicine and other ways you can build resilience.
  • Gather advice from those who have been there.

"The Big Ordeal is a must read for anyone facing cancer, either as a patient or loving caregiver," said Shalom Kalnicki, MD, FASTRO, FACRO, chairman for the Department of Radiation Oncology at Montefiore Medical Center and professor of radiation oncology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. "Through her research with patients and experts, Cynthia brings new insights and understanding to the experience of cancer, helping to reduce the isolation, fear and anxiety so common with a diagnosis. I experience on a daily basis the psychosocial challenges the diagnosis engenders and know that the empathy and intelligence shared in this book will help to ease the stress of a cancer care journey."

Pick up your copy of The Big Ordeal and stay updated on Hayes' endeavors by visiting Media can request a copy for review by contacting

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More about Greenleaf Book Group

Greenleaf Book Group is an independent publisher and distributor located in Austin, Texas, dedicated to empowering authors. Greenleaf's hybrid publishing model is uniquely positioned to offer the benefits of both traditional publishing and self-publishing. To learn more about Greenleaf, visit

Media Contact:

Emily Maulding
Greenleaf Book Group

SOURCE: Greenleaf Book Group, LLC

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