Cancer Support Groups

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All Support Groups are FREE and require preregistration. Please call 978-456-3532 to register.

LIVING WITH METASTATIC CANCER with Elaine Olmstead, RN, MS, CS

2nd and 4th Tuesdays; 3-4:30 pm

LIVING WITH METASTATIC CANCER with Marilyn Brine-Gilmour, LICSW

1st and 3rd Fridays; 1:30-3:00 pm

POST TREATMENT with Karen Cote, RN, MSN

2nd Thursday; 1:00-2:30pm

POST TREATMENT with Marcia Lewin Berlin, LICSW

1st and 3rd Wednesdays; 11:00-12:30pm

IN TREATMENT with Brianne Carter, LICSW

1st and 3rd Mondays; 1:00-2:30pm

YOUNG WOMEN with Brianne Carter, LICSW

1st and 3rd Mondays; 9:30-11:00am

JOURNALING with Dana Snyder-Grant, LICSW

1st Wednesday; 11:00-12:30pm

SPIRITUAL COMPANIONING with Susie Allen, Rev. and Lisa MacDonnell, M.T.

1st and 3rd Thursdays, 11:00-12:30pm

 

FULL DESCRIPTIONS OF THE GROUPS

LIVING WITH METASTATIC CANCER with Elaine Olmstead is a support group facilitated by a mental health nurse practitioner for 8-10 women and men who have any type of metastatic cancer. The group meets twice per month and focuses on issues re: living with metastatic cancer and all the related treatments, changes in lifestyle and relationships, learning to ask for help and fears about disability, pain and end of life care. Living in the present, enjoying life as it is now and humor are also important themes in the group. An individual interview is required before joining the group.

LIVING WITH METASTATIC CANCER with Marilyn Brine Gilmour is a support group facilitated by a licensed social worker (LICSW) who established this group in January 2005. Since then, it has run continuously on two (2) Fridays a month, with frequency determined by the members for July and August. The focus is sharing of emotional concerns, such as family reactions and communication, and facing end-of-life issues. Medical and treatment issues and resources may be shared among members, however the role of the facilitator is not to give medical advice or to educate.

POST TREATMENT is a support group for 10-12 women and men who have completed their active treatment for any type of cancer. The group meets once a month and focuses on issues re: cancer rehabilitation, strength-building, shifts in identity, intersecting factors (financial, work, relationships), management of anxiety, and making meaning of cancer in their lives.

IN TREATMENT is a support group facilitated by a licensed social worker for 8-10 women and men who are in any stage of cancer treatment. The group meets twice per month and focuses on issues of new diagnosis and treatment including: navigating the medical and health care systems, filtering information, adjusting to identity changes, management of side effects, developing coping skills, and building a network of supports.

YOUNG WOMEN is a support group facilitated by a licensed social worker for women with any cancer type who are under the age of 45 (and/or have young children). The group meets once per month and focuses on the many physical and psychological challenges young women face including: body image, fatigue, fertility, chemo brain, coping with fear of recurrence, sexual desire/intimacy, early menopause, managing relationships including children and partners, strength building and support systems. Sharing resources and building coping skills are significant aspects of this group.

JOURNALING is a support group is facilitated by a licensed independent clinical social worker and meets once a month for individuals with any type of cancer or serious medical illness. Journaling offers clients the opportunity to take control of what Thich Nhat Hanh calls the “monkey mind”—the constant, incessant fluctuation of emotions and thoughts. The group offers clients a witness and validation of their illness story, something that is often missing in our culture. The facilitator guides participants with prompts and exercises, using poems, quotations, and spiritual and psychological resources to help clients reclaim themselves as they experience the healing power of journaling. The group is open to those who have completed an introductory journaling workshop and wish to pursue this modality further. Members are asked to maintain confidentiality and notify the facilitator if they are unable to attend a session.

SPIRITUAL COMPANIONING is a support group facilitated by a nondenominational Reverend and a body-centered Therapist and meets twice a month. The group offers a safe and confidential setting to discover and explore an awareness of life's deepest longings, the chance to learn and engage spiritual practices or resources to support this awareness, and the opportunity to identify the source and foundation of one's own spiritual truth or wisdom.

You are a person, not a disease, and you can live well with cancer, and beyond. We are here to help you.

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