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Living with a Cancer that May Never Go Away Meet-Up

Intended Audience

Members living with an advanced, metastatic, stage lV, or chronic cancer diagnosis, and their caregivers.

Program Description

These meetup sessions offer a safe space for members with a cancer that may never go away and their caregivers, to connect with others walking a similar road and have real conversations about coping with uncertainty, managing the physical and emotional aspects of cancer, and exploring perspectives on death as part of life. This program creates a relaxed and flexible space for connection. Compassionate professionals facilitate the meet-up and participants are invited to indicate how best these sessions can meet their needs. As monthly sessions vary based on the needs and interests of participants, some sessions may also include activities and guest speakers.

“Lets me be me part of a group with similar journeys, feel I belong.”

“Helps me to understand what my mom is going through.”

“Emotional awareness of others with a situation similar to mine; sharing with people who understand.”

Benefits and Impact

Many studies have shown that connecting with others going through similar cancer experiences can help people feel less anxious, less fearful, and more resilient. In this facilitated group setting, participants tell us that in connecting they feel supported and empowered; that the connections they build help them feel less isolated and alone.

Other benefits of group sharing include:

  • a safe place to name and manage emotions
  • insights and understanding from others in similar situations
  • compassionate listening and guidance from a skilled leader
  • suggestions for coping
  • information and other resources that may be helpful

What to Expect at a Session

This is an informal monthly gathering of people looking for ways to coexist with cancer. Caregivers are also invited to join and participate. Varying group dynamics may impact the way sessions unfolds, but generally participants are invited to listen, share stories, and explore strategies to help manage physical, emotional and practical symptoms of cancer and treatment. Sessions are 1.5 hours and some months there may be activities or guest speakers.

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Wellspring Calgary offers a Children’s and Parents’ Program that brings parents and their children together for networking, conversations about having cancer in the family, and for tools to help cope with and express feelings.

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