Cancer Support Now Conference time

cancer support now logoI was selling raffle tickets for our chocolate gift basket♥. Guests were choosing items from the breakfast table. Others were meeting old friends; starting new friendships registration packets in hand.  Sandy♥ was on the stage ready to welcome everyone. Dr Michael Linver♥ would be arriving soon for the keynote.

I stood there talking with a woman who has been recently diagnosed with breast cancer. She had the surgery a few weeks ago and would be having radiation next. Her experience had been such a whirlwind that she was still absorbing what had happened to her. She was looking for answers. And she wanted to feel that she was not the only one. She was tentative. But she was here. She was me one year ago.

One year ago I had completed breast cancer radiation three months before  and thyroid cancer radiation one month before. The conference was new to me. It was a port in the storm.  Kind faces not in scrubs. Welcoming. Informative. A chance to speak out. A chance to hear and be heard. I was heard.

I was welcomed into the group. This year I am on the board of Cancer Support Now♥  I was on the planning committee for the 4th Annual Long-Term Effects of Cancer Survivorship Conference. I am fortunate to be a part of something so valuable to the individual with cancer.

I feel the real value of our conference is to the individual. We are a port in the storm with open arms and friendship and information.

After Dr Linver’s excellent talk we moved to our breakout sessions. Mine was the Fatigue/Sleep Issues. Popular subject.  Catherine Offutt, a woman who radiates positive energy, and Patricia Torn, an excellent speaker,  led us with an interactive, fun and funny experience. The best formula for learning.

Jason’s Deli Box lunches and conversation were next. Upstairs the ABQ School of Massage Therapy and Health Sciences♥ were giving free chair massages. Not a bad way to spend the day.

A rehabilitation panel discussion was lively. George Fraser PT, co-owner of Fifty ‘n Fit♥ stole the show with information about osteoporosis, fractures and exercise post treatment.

My next breakout session was titled End of Life Planning and Support. It did not deliver as titled. I was disappointed as I needed help in this area. It was a philosophy based discussion. Interesting. However, I think most of us already had our philosophy pinned down but not our end of life plan.

What was memorable for me was the Closing. We gathered to discuss what we liked, what we would want next year. Everyone showed up. Last year there were some and this year there were many. Our attendees took ownership of the conference. It was the best thing that could have happened. They wanted to be heard. Led by the excellent Patricia Torn, they were heard.  We went home happy.

 

Notes♥

ChocGlitz&Cream is owned by Celeste Davis and is located not far from Rust Memorial on Unser. Excellent chocolate.

Sandy Ginsburg, president Cancer Support Now. Excellent role model for us in the cancer community.

Michael Linver, MD, FACR, F.S.B.I., international lecturer on mammography, excellent speaker. We are lucky to have Dr. Linver in our community.

Cancer Support Now is the sponsor of The 4th Annual Long-Term Effects of Cancer Survivorship Conference

ABQ School of Massage Therapy and Health Sciences is owned by Dawn Saunders. She is amazing. I have had my best massages at her school.

Fifty ‘n Fit is owned by George Fraser and his wife.

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Cancer Support Now

Go to the Cancer Support Now website and check the Spring Conference and a wonderful local cancer support organization right here in ABQ.                      http://cancersupportnow.org/

 Announcing

 Fourth  Annual Long Term Effects of Cancer Survivorship Conference

March 28, 2015   8:30 am to 4:30 pm at
Central United Methodist Church   in Albuquerque

The Conference includes 4 breakout sessions  held twice, morning & afternoon

1. Fatigue/Sleep Issues
2. Lymphedema
3. Creative Movement/Visual Art an interactive, experiential session
4. End of Life Planning and Support

Keynote sessions:

The Morning  keynote speaker is  Michael N. Linver, MD, FACR.
Dr. Linver is a busy
lecturer on mammography, having presented over 900 talks throughout
the United States and in over 20 countries around the world.
The Lunch keynote session is a panel of experts on rehabilitation topics of concern to post-treatment survivors and their caregivers.
Location: Central United Methodist Church,
201 University Blvd. NE,
Albuquerque, NM 1 block north of Central
For more information call
505.307.3414 ore-mail ptorn@comcast.net
Registration is required & opens mid-February

 

Presbyterian Cancer Education Series 6 week workshop

Workshops

 

Silver Linings Survivorship Services: bring out the best you through exercise

Funded by Presbyterian Healthcare Foundation

Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital, 8300 Constitution Ave NE, ABQ, NM 87110   www.phs.org

Six week program, 2 hours.

All sessions include stretching and journaling. Each week is themed with an expert speaker.

Intro, lymphedema, fatigue and activities of daily living, nutrition and dietary considerations, peripheral neuropathy and cognitive impairment, long term side effects and exercise.

Excellent program. Informative and helpful. Well worth it. We all agreed that we learned a lot.

Gretl Berneart OTR/L, CLT-LANA                           Ada Portman, MPT, CLT                  Ann Mustoe, RN ONS

Jan Esparza, RD                  Monica Bartley, Exercise Specialist

I understand that this program will be repeated.  Contact 505-559-8761 to find out more about the workshop

Caring Hearts Support Group starts this week

Caring Hearts Support Group

            Thursday                Nov 6                    at 2:30 pm (lunch arrives at 2pm).

                    Place Aggies Conference Room, Presbyterian Medical Group Building                                           2nd floor, by Oncology waiting room

This is a longstanding group facilitated by Eve Concoran, Chaplain.

Call Eric Mehringer  559-8761

Dates:  Nov 6, 13, 20    December 4, 11

All cancer patients and loved ones are welcome

I started attending this group in February. It has helped me in so many ways. A big one is that it has helped my process. I was hit with severe RA and two cancers within 11 months of each other.  Tough to assimilate surgeries, radiations, tons of meds. Total life change.  This group is amazing. It also offers resources and friendships. Kindred spirits. Come join us.

Bring out the best you through exercise workshop

Recovering from cancer,  Addressing  the issues

Presbyterian Kaseman Hospital  >>open to all cancer patients>>Wednesdays 1-3>>                        call  505-559-8761 to join group or come to an individual class. FREE and Supportive +++good for any level of ability

10-1-14                                                                                                                                          Lymphedema discussion                                                                                                                             Ada Portman, MPT,CLT and Gretl Bernaert, OTR/L,  CLT-LANA                                                                Activity:   therapeutic exercises

10-8-14                                                                                                                                                               Fatigue and activities of daily living                                                                                                          Overview, management :     Ann Mustoe RN, ONS and Gretl Bernaert, OTR/L,  CLT-LANA                 Activity:    Chair exercises

10-15-14                                                                                                                                                              Nutrition and dietary considerations                                                                                               Overview,:   healthy eating, weight gain/loss Jan Esparza RD                                                                      Activity:     nutrition game and circuit training

10-22-14                                                                                                                                                             Peripheral neuropathy  and cognitive impairment                                                                              Overview, management     Monica Bartley, exercise specialist  and Ada Portman MPT, CLT               Activity:       balance class and cognitive exercise with movement

10-29-14                                                                                                                                                              Long term side effects and exercise                                                                                                           Bone:    Gretl Bernaert                 benefits of exercise                    estrogen blockers                             Activity:  low impact aerobics

All classes also include breathing and stretching and journaling

After cancer treatment what next?

Surviving Cancer is a tough trip.   After the treatment is done,  before the next tests,  there will Couragealways be the worry that the cancer will come back.  There will be the worry that a new one will soon reveal its ugly form.  After all, the body betrayed itself once.

Then,  after all the dust has settled and friends and family have disappeared back into their own lives,  the long term effects of treatment settle into roost.  Fatigue.  Fatigue and more fatigue.  So common.  So very hard to deal with.  Chemo brain. Peripheral neuropathy.  Feeling fragile.  Being fragile.  Reality.  Then there is the huge financial upheavals.

Maybe a visit to the Caring Hearts Support Group at Kaseman in Albuquerque is in order. This group embodies what human spirit is all about.  A  group sharing a common experience, meeting for a late lunch, a presentation by a medical oncology specialist, time for talking. People who understand your issues and are willing to help.  Be brave come for a visit.

Caring Hearts Support Group meets in six week blocks. This block started last Thursday. On Thursday, 2:30-4.  Lunch is served at 2 and included. The Cancer Center at Kaseman. Open to all cancer patients.  Call Eric at 505-559-8761 for more info.

Cancer Club Thoughts for the day: MOJO

I am working a plan to get my mojo back.

Still recovering from two radiation treatments with more treatments on the horizon, I’m still a woman of little energy. The Health Plex associated with Presbyterian Hospital Systems here in ABQ offers a 10 week cancer rehabilitation program called Thrive.

I decided that it was just what I needed. On my last visit to my endocrinologist, I did persuade her to sign off on the program. I paid my $90 and submitted my paperwork. Fairly quickly I had an appointment with an exercise specialist for an evaluation.  Vitals, O2 sat, balance, body fat, weight(ugh!) and all those important numbers to see where my fitness level stood.

The next day I was started on a plan with several exercise machines.

The routine is to check in and have my blood pressure, O2 sat and well being checked. On Tuesday and Thursday I work the machines supervised. Pulse rate is checked between machines. BP and sat are checked  when I am done.

Monday I go to a special exercise class that covers every part of my body but is doable in my condition. Wednesday I go to an aerobics class which is geared to my level. On Friday I go to a Zumba class. I was encourages to go for the second 30 minutes. Fun. Next time I tried the hour but it was way too much. Will go back to the 30 minutes next week.

I have completed two weeks. My mind is happier that I am doing something to help myself. I feel the inkling of the old me in my bones. There is hope. MOJO rising!

 

Spring 2014 Family Cancer Retreat

Cancer Services of New Mexico’s Spring 2014 Family Cancer Retreat  starts tomorrow May 2,  2014.  It is a weekend all expense paid retreat at the Pyramid, a popular hotel in Albuquerque.

It is for cancer survivors, their caregivers, i.e. family. There are presentations on every aspect of cancer, for example:  Patient and Family Communications in Serious Illness, New Developments in Cancer Treatment,  Talking with Kids about Cancer.  There is a creative expressions workshop, Yoga for Happiness and Healing. A wide range of activity.  One on one counseling sessions.

Too late to sign up for this one. There will be another in the Fall. You will need to send in an application. Your oncologist (or your doc managing your care) will need to send in a form.

Cancer Services of New Mexico                                                                                                                   P O Box 51735, Albuquerque NM 87181-1735                                                                                        Phone:   505-259-9583                Email:    info@cancerservicesNM.org                                  Website:   http://www.cancerservicesNM.org

The New Mexico Department of Health  and United Way of Central New Mexico are also sponsors.

Cancer support now

Cancer Support Now Inc.                                                                                                                              “We are a community of survivors reaching out, supporting, informing and advocating for survivors, their loved ones and caregivers.”

One resource for addressing life after cancer in a community of people who have been there.

PO Box 37338   Albuquerque, NM 87176

http://www.cancersupportnow.org

info@cancersupportnow.org

Helpline:   505-255-0405    855-955-3500 

Offers immediate support

Matches you with one on one trained volunteers

Refers you to support groups

 A few support groups
  • The Women’s North Valley Cancer Support Now Group. This support group has been active for years.

Meets every other Thursday night 6:30 to 8:30pm in the North Valley for caregivers and those with a diagnosis of cancer. Call Cancer Support Now, Inc for location 255-0405

  • Survivors Writing Together

Writing support group every Monday 3 to 4:30pm at UNM Cancer Center. Call 255-0405

  • Fourth Saturday Cancer Support Now Survivors Group

For those with a diagnosis of cancer, men and women, meets the 4th Saturday of each month from 10:30 to noon. At Adelante on  Osuna west of Jefferson. Young breast cancer survivor facilitator available to meet the needs of younger breast cancer survivors. A cancer caregiver support group is held in the same place, same time, separate room. Call 255-0405

There is much more to this hospitable group including training programs, the Annual Long Term Effects of Cancer Survivorship Conference.

I learned of this group through Patti Lentz at High Desert Yoga