Depression, anxiety, and isolation…bewilderment and hopelessness. It’s tough enough getting a cancer diagnosis and undergoing treatment, but now these feelings, too?
That’s where the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley fits in: by offering support and education to people and their loved ones affected by cancer so they can restore a sense of control, reduce isolation and stress, better manage their care—and redefine hope.
The medical community fully endorses the goals of providing psychological, social, and emotional support and education to people affected by cancer. In fact, the National Academies’ institute of Medicine has written, “Today it is not possible to deliver good-quality cancer care without addressing patients’ psycho-social health needs.”
Our programs vary, as do the needs of the people who come through our doors. Some programs are geared toward specific cancers; some, specific age groups; some, particular kinds of activities; and others, by the role in this process, such as a survivor or caregiver. Why so many programs? Because people find ways to cope in different ways.
The programs, which reflect members’ wishes as well as cutting-edge research, are led by licensed mental health professionals and skilled facilitators. Some of the recent additions to our 60 monthly programs follow:
- Happiness Habits: Happiness is habit forming (really!), and we show members how to form it by focusing on concepts like gratitude, kindness, and sense of purpose.
- Zumba Gold: No one ever gets enough of this festive fitness program that lets members move at their own pace.
- Liquid Nutrition Education and Lymphedema Support Groups: Because survivors do not have to face these unique quality-of-life concerns alone, they gain hope. These groups provide education and support as people learn how to manage daily living with this restriction and side effect.
The Cancer Support Community is another critical part of cancer care.
–Jen Sinclair, M.Ed., N.C.C., L.P.C.
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