CSN Cancer Support Groups New Mexico

Cancer Support Now’s

PEER-FACILITATED SUPPORT GROUPS

 

For contact information and details on support groups,                                                                     please call the

Helpline Telephone: 505-255-0405, toll free 855-955-3500

New groups which have transitioned over from PLTC as of April 2016 are marked with an asterisk,*.

5/2016

Advanced Diagnosis Group *

1st and 3rd Tuesday at 1:00PM

NE Heights

Blood Cancer Group *

For those dealing with a blood or lymphatic cancer

2nd and 4th Tuesday, 1:00-2:30PM

North Valley

Breast Cancer Group *

Every Wednesday 6:00-7:30PM

NE Heights

Coloring & Creativity *

All cancers, survivors and caregivers

TBA

Friends and Family Writing Together

Journaling Support Group for Grief or Anticipatory Grief

Every Thursday, 4:00 PM to 5:30 PM

UNM Cancer Center

Isleta Cancer Education and Support

2nd Tuesday of the month, 10:30-Noon

Isleta Health Clinic

Late Afternoon Breast Cancer Group

Every other Wednesday, 5:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Carlisle and Comanche

LGBT Group *

All diagnoses, cancer survivors

1st and 3rd Tuesday, 6:00-7:30PM

NE Heights

North Valley Women’s Group

Every other Thursday night, 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

North Valley

One-on-One Cancer Caregiver Session

One time, 90-minute Session: Resources & Support for Cancer Caregivers

Scheduled individually to accommodate the needs of the caregiver

Call Patricia at 505-307-3414

One on One Peer Cancer Support

Survivors or caregivers

Call our Helpline at 505-255-0405 or Toll Free at 855-955-3500

Seven days a week, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM

One-on-one Peer matching 

Available through Helpline at 505-255-0405 or Toll Free at 855-955-3500

Matching with a phone buddy who has dealt with a similar diagnosis and/or challenges

Ovarian Open Arms

Third Saturday of the month, 10:30 AM

Covenant Presbyterian Church

NE Heights

Relaxation Support Classes

Open to cancer survivors and their loved ones

Call Jean Stouffer, certified hypnotherapist, 296-8423

For location, dates, time, and to register

Sandia Breast Cancer Group

1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month, 12:00 Noon to 1:00 PM

Sandia Base: Sandia Employees Only

Santa Fe Breast Cancer Group, “Surviving Sisters” *

2nd and 4th Tuesday, 4:00-5:30PM

Santa Fe

Survivors Writing Together

Journaling Support Group

Every Monday, 2:30-4:00 PM

UNM Cancer Center

Taos Support Groups *

Survivors (all cancers) Tuesdays, 5:00-6:30PM

Caregivers (all cancers) Mondays, 5:00-6:30PM

Sipapu St, Taos

Thyroid Cancer Group *

2nd Tuesday of the month, 6:30PM

North Valley

 

Prostate Cancer Support Association of New Mexico

It is an affiliated support group with CSN. Support group meetings are held 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month, meetings at Bear Canyon Senior Center.                                                  Office at 2533 Virginia St, NE Suite C Albuquerque, NM 87110
www.pcsanm.org                    (505)254-7784                   Email  pchelp@pcsanm.org

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Conversation for NM Cancer Girls in July

        Admitting that we  have thoughts about  death when we are diagnosed with cancer,          is both a gift for ourselves and a gift from our family.

Once cancer strikes we are  at risk.

For many our cancers can be cured.                                                                                                     For others, cancer hangs out in our bodies until it becomes center stage again.                             For some cancer  becomes a losing battle.

When the battle is finally lost, I have seen angry women become peaceful. Not having to constantly strive, they can rest. They can start thinking about their end. They might start to plan. They are relieved they no longer have to fight. They were exhausted. Now they can relax.

As our cancer progresses, as we get another cancer, death becomes a topic for discussion. We want to know more. The event below is a well received discussion in Albuquerque. Join us.

COMPASSION & CHOICES

Having the Conversation:
Practical Tips for Effective Advance Care Planning

Revathi A-Davidson &  Jean Anderson

 

Sunday, July 12

1:30 – 3:00 p.m.

American Lung Association offices

 5911 Jefferson St. NE.

Sponsored by

cancer support now logo

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.

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

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

What happens at a CT scan

purple flowerT-Day

I have to admit I was afraid.  I had set it aside while on my trip. But today was the day. No more ignoring the possibility of more ca.  Today was CT scan day.  I start my day with my normal routine. Thyroid pill.  Load the Starbucks beans. Enjoy as the grinding releases the unmistakable aroma.  Coffee brewing in the dependable Cuisinart.  Check the blood sugar.  Say hello to Max and give him breakfast.  He is busy, but he definitely is not a morning person.

Settle into the first coffee of the day.  Comfy chair.  TJ bouquet is Fall colors. Nice.  Journal out. Start writing.  Write about yesterday. Tough as my RA was flaring again.  Probably because of the 25% cut in prednisone.

Light breakfast.  Need three hours of fasting for this test.  Just make it.

Front Desk Procedure

I arrive at KM Hospital x ray department.  Take a number from the automated ticket dispenser. Sit in a room full of unhappy looking people.  Waiting.  Number called.  Electronic signature times two.  One for permission for treatment.  The other is something about abuse?  My check was less than the test amount.  No problem. I  will be sent a bill.

Next I was sent to see another woman at another desk.  She gave me a form to fill out.  I filled it out and waited until 10 minutes after the appointment time to be called.  Mary she calls. This  new woman did not identify herself.  She asked me for another form.  I did not have it.  She went back to the second woman and got it.  Sat me down in still another waiting room to fill out this form and left.  About 10 minutes later the third (no name) woman returned and led me off.

The Big Machine

The scanner looked like a big electronic donut. I was asked to remove my bra (might wear a sports bra next time) and a dental partial.  Metal.  Was led to a table.  Place for my head. Support for my knees.

An IV was started. (For GI things a drink is given.)  This IV was connected to a fat syringe attached to the scanner.  Head position was checked.  And without a word, my nameless woman left me alone with the machine.

The machine started without warning or pleasantry from the control room.  The machine told me when to breathe and when not to breathe.  I could feel the dye as it entered me and then washed through me as a saturated warmth.  Two doses for two scans.  Quick.

Done

My nameless woman returned.  Removed my IV.  Wrapped the site in a purple stretch bandage.  (I like them.  I feel special like a kid with a super hero band-aide.)  Said I would  hear the results in a few days.  Gave me an instruction sheet not to take my metformin for 48 hours and a card. I finally knew her name as I walked out the door.

Waiting

This is the hard part.  Waiting for the results: what will it be and what will happen next.

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-zoo music

Shaggy bleached blond at 9 years old.  He was on the heavy side but solidly built.  Beat up old sports shirt. He stood solid in his shoes. He knew who he was and where he stood in the world and was fine with it.  He had a sureness about him many adults wished they possessed. He followed the rules. He did ask his mom if it would be okay if he walked around. Off he went with his cousin, a boy who also had a devilish glint.

We are at zoo music. Paula Cole is the entertainment. Lounging in lawn chairs after a picnic of summer delights. Feeling good. Under the trees. On the grass. Surrounded by an amazing supply of people just right for people watching. Good to be with friends.

I just finished my 6th week of Cancer Rehab at the Healthplex. I am stronger. I have better balance. The program is doing what I had hoped. I am rebuilding. I will be healthier or I will have more stamina for the next round. Either way I’ll be better than I was without it.

Cancer Club thoughts-helping

Cancer victims have concrete problems.  Cancer makes a person face his mortality.  Suddenly life is no longer taken for granted.  Survival becomes an issue.  Add to that the  scary thought of the big C spreading throughout the body.  There is a feeling of loss of control. Unnerving!  Life becomes uncertain forever. Still, many cancer worries are  about everyday issues. Am I going to be able to function independently during treatment?  Where do I turn for help? How do I get to the pharmacy for prescriptions?  How to I make meals when I feel so sick?  What if I become very sick during the night, will I die alone?  How will I pay for my treatment?  Are my friends avoiding me because I have cancer? Cancer can be fatal. Some cancers can be cured. Cancer can also be a chronic condition. There are many cancers that cannot be cured but can be managed. These cancers require careful monitoring and intermittent treatment.  Cancer can recur. It can recur any time after treatment. It can recur after years of being monitored. Cancer treatment side effects can last forever. When you want to help a friend with cancer, offer concrete help. The most important help you can offer is to stay connected and be a resource for your friend.  Call your friend. Text them. You might:

  • Drive a friend to a doctor appointment or a treatment.
  • Get them out of the house for a coffee or lunch.
  • Be clearly available if they need help when they are in treatment.
  • Pick up a prescription for them.
  • Call or leave a message to say you are thinking of them.
  • Offer to help with laundry, cooking, or light housework.
  • Drive them to family events and bring them home when they are tired.
  • If you are far away, send them greeting cards.

Many cancer patients feel deserted by friends and family once the initial crisis is over.  It is frequently expected that a sick person will be treated and then will get back to normal.  Well meaning family and friends will insist that sick time is over and it is time to get back in the routine. This is not how it works with cancer.

Cancer effects are long-lasting. Extreme fatigue is common. For cancer patients, treatment and then side effects can extend over a long period of time. Physical stamina may be diminished. Finances may be devastated.

Readjusting to a new normal takes work and it takes time. The most important thing you can do to help is to stay connected. Call. Text. Send Cards. Offer specific things you are willing to do to help. Be helpful in ways that work for you. Remember there are few quick fixes for cancer.