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Beginning in January, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center will offer its first class designed to support cancer patients with a focus on moving forward after cancer treatment.
The class is designed to help:
As you complete treatment, you may be excited to finally be done. But you may have some fears, thinking — what's next? You've had support from your medical care team and others you've met along the way during diagnosis and treatment.
However, as you transition back to your "life routine", you may be surprised by the uneasy feelings that can come with the next phase of your survivorship and feel that your support is gone.
The survivorship class addresses:
The class is free and offered every Wednesday (beginning Jan. 11, 2012) from 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. in the Cancer Education Center, Gonda Building (Lobby level). Please join us in person if you are close to the Rochester, Minn., campus. I would love to hear about any experiences you have had with survivorship classes in your area.
Follow me on Twitter @SherylNess1. Join the discussion at #livingwithcancer.
Sheryl M. Ness, R.N.
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Will stem cell treatment help COPD ?
Just now ready yur info as I have MBD, which is from my breast cancer from 1999. 13 years later here I am. I would love to see the survivor class put online.....it sounds great, but I'm not in yur area to attend. Hope to see it posted soon.
If you are looking for a Survivorship program in your area call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345 or check at cancer.org. They will be able to tell you if there is a local resource for you. At cancer.org there is a survivorship section with a lot of resources. An online support group is available from the American Cancer Society at http://acs.whatnext.com
This discussion is excellent and just the kind of information we need as we plan and move forward with this type of support for survivors. Many of you have mentioned that surviving cancer has an element of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). We have considered this idea to address some of the emotional changes and fears that remain long after diagnosis and treatment. The suggestions to bring support online are excellent as well. We will keep working on this idea and update you as we plan for future programs.
Everything you are addressing is excellent and is particularly relevant to people who survive Cancer I realize it is a taboo to speak about this but please bring to survivors attention the discrimiantion in many but not all parts of the work place. Cancer is a "pre-existing condition" that has been used to refuse some people the right for equal health care. ( unless they are wealthy) A self insured employer ( this means they pay the actual medical expenses for their employees with an insurance co. managing it up front), who knows you have a chronic form of cancer, or suspects potential for a relapse will make a business decision ( HR) to push you out. It may be over 6 months or a year after you come back if they are smart to avoid a law suit. But you need to be cognizant that it may happen. Not all companies are like that but, we have the big "pre-existing Condition" label, created by health insurance industry which can affect their annual profits. Don't be afraid of it, just aware of it..I've seen it happen and it applies to anyone with illness so labeled that can hurt insurance profits.Keep a paper trail if your evaluations begin to change. Not everyone will have this problem but it is more prevelant then people wish to realize..
The comment of PTSD fits. Sometimes I don't know where the emotion comes from, but it affects all those around me. Now if only my spouse will understand I'm not really mean. Fortunately, I'm still clear of colon cancer (almost 2 years out). Thanks for the blog.
Glad to hear this news, even though I do not live in that area. For some reason, some in the medical world think we only need to get together as survivors after treatments for a certain period of time and then stop. Or, their programs are not held during the evening hours so we can attend. They are scheduled for their staff's hours instead. We need to work during the day in order to pay for all our continued Doctor visits. I attend a mixed group of new survivors, as well as those 20+ yrs. out. We swap info to stay up to date with cancer news, as well as check out a site that provides a live google link to realtime cancer news around the world. www.havenofhopeonline.com
Oh how I wish I could attend! I'm still in treatment for endometrial cancer, had the radical surgery and serveral rounds of chemo.
Right now I'm in the middle of two months rest from chemo because there is some damage to my heart muscle that requires some healing time before we proceed. I trust my oncologist implicitly, and the hospital is an excellent supporter through it all; but I have to go find my own answers too often, or just sweat it out on my own. I really don't like the games cancer (or chemo) plays with my emotions sometimes.
I had cancer and my lower left lung was removed.apr 2009.an epidural was used to control pain, worked great!,but...I have constant pain,like a pressure at first, but now it's continual pain that feels like my whole rib cage is badly bruised, it's getting more severe. X-rays, bone scans, exams, have not shown anything. could this be phantom pain? could it be a side effect from the epidural? i also have parkinson's and rheumatoid arthritis, but this pain is located in my entire rib cage and is constant, sometimes i can't straighten up without feeling extreme pain. would acupuncture be an option? i am a female of 67 yrs, and of good health otherwise. some of my closer friends are calling me lucky lol.
Was eine fantastische Idee so einen Survivor Kurs zu halten. ich bin gerade zwischen 5 Monate Chemo und 5 Wochen Strahlentherapie und wuenschte wir haetten so was hier in Australien.(Sydney)....
Bravo! This would be an excellent program if it were offered more widely. Alas, the majority of people reading your article cannot attend such a program in person, so the comments here on offering some of it online hopefully act as a catalyst to do this.I would be very interested. After I finished my treatment, I credit an arts in medicine program offered in my city for encouraging me to recover my confidence in my body and also to recover my spirit. I was very fortunate to have been able to participate in it. I did three courses in soapstone carving,several in pottery,jewellery making,tile painting and I learned to play the harp. These were only some of the courses offered. In each course we were able as a group to talk about our fears, problems, and often small successes. It became a support group as well as an educational opportunity both in our understanding about life after cancer but also in learning a new skill/hobby. Battling cancer is only partly accomplished with the physical treatment, but the battle continues for many much longer after the treatment both emotionally and psychologically. Anything that can be done as follow-up for a patient after treatment is a godsend. Please continue your good work.
I do not live in the Rochester area but am very interested in this subject. Is there any way the information can be put online?
I also will be town and will attend but very much agree with others that online format is great. My hometown offers only breast cancer support and I too have struggled with the life after issues both physical and psychological. The similarities to PTSD are striking, one is so primed for the fight when diagnosed that many of the after effects come out of left field and one is just not prepared.
Can this course be offered as an online webinar?
Will be in Rochester that day at the Mayo and may be able to fit the time in! Have lots of concerns and worries that I would like to address with someone who knows what I'm going through! Thanks so much.
Any offered in nj or online
It would be wonderful if you could provide some online resources. I've been unable to find anything within a reasonable drive of my home.
WILL YHOU HAVE SURVIVOR CLASSES FOR WE IN ARIZONA ?
This is a wonderful effort to assist cancer patients at end of treatment. I havemet with many other cancer patients and we all agreed that after the initial treatment, you are left with no one that really understands how you are feeling or what to do to get back to a "normal" state. For myself, I believe everyone has a different version and perhaps vision as to what a "normal state" is -- my doctors referred to the "new normal". I am two years out and defining my new normal is my old normal, or at least fighting the "nayers" to achieve this through regular diet, exercise, and optimism. I do have severe side effects after chemo and radiation (Lymphoma) but I am following a regiment that has shot me past the doctors expectations. Best to all on what you find to be your "normal" :)
This sounds wonderful, but what about the 99.9% of patients who can't come to your class? Are you going to support them with an online presentation? I write and manage two websites www.stomadata.com and www.stoma.fr (bilingual English/French) to provide advice for colostomates, hernia sufferers, and those recovering from abdominal surgery, but I would be delighted to be able to direct chemo patients and ex-chemo patients to a source of help. I would be most grateful if you could advise me how they could be helped. If there is any way in which I can assist I shall be very happy to do so.
It's about time! There should be something online as well. I am concerned though that you seem to think most of the adjustment is psychological. It isn't. We get very invasive treatments and are left to deal with this "new body" that does not function in the same way, has different problems etc, and there is very little help with those things. I am not denying though that there are also psychological issues. Sometimes they are more like PTSD than depression or simple adjustment. I am very grateful for the medical care I got at Mayo in 2007 for my esophageal cancer. But I was shocked by the total lack of follow up and after care... Glad some of that is improving maybe.
January 5, 2012
Wish I could attend in person. I hope that some of the sessions will be found in this newsletter. I was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer. I had a double mastectomy and no reconstruction. My last chemo was 04/19/11. I now have osteoporosis and have to take fosamax. Nothing bothered me before which included the lump, the operation and the chemo. Now my joints especially the knees like to say hello to me if I walk for over an hour.
I just felt like whining. Thanks for the BLOG.
I am going to attend this, I have an appointment that day and I have been having
difficulty with most of the subjects. Its been a year now and I am not understanding whats now normal and how to relay that to others. They want me to be the old me, that person doesn't exist anymore but how do you explain that without sounding like your using your cancer as a crutch. Sheryl I will see you on that day. Thanks
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