A cancer diagnosis and treatment can physically and emotionally impact the patient as well as their friends, family, and caregivers.
Support groups can provide connection, community, resources, and personal experience to help one navigate the world of doctors, treatment and the spectrum of emotions that comes with a cancer journey.
Both a cancer support group for caregivers and a writing workshop for cancer patients and survivors are now offered in Los Alamos by the Cancer Foundation for New Mexico in collaboration with the Los Alamos Council on Cancer.
These free, professionally-led support groups encourage participants to share experiences, feelings, knowledge and perhaps discover ways to heal and find hope in a compassionate non-judgmental setting.
Togetheris a support group for family, friends, and caregivers of cancer patients. This group is led by Lori Padilla, LMHC and meets two times a month:
2nd Wednesday location: White Rock Senior Center, 137 Longview Drive 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.: and
4th Wednesday location: Betty Ehart Senior Center, 1101 Bathtub Row, Los Alamos 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Drop-ins are welcome.
Caregivers can be friends and family of the diagnosed patient. They basically make up the “team” that provides support in a variety of ways. The Together group addresses the unique role and needs of those closest to the cancer patient.
As one caregiver shared, “When my family member was first diagnosed, I felt like the world as I knew it was coming to an end, and I didn’t know what to do. Attending this support group has connected me to others who have been in my shoes and who understand the daily challenges of living while navigating the world with someone who has a cancer diagnosis.”
Write To Healis a writing workshop based on, but not limited by, the life-changing diagnosis of cancer.
This group is led by Joanne Fay Brown, MSW and meets 10 a.m. to noon for eight Thursdays, Jan. 9, 16, 23, Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27 and March 5 at the Betty Ehart Senior Center, 1101 Bathtub Row in Los Alamos. Registration is required.
The intent of this group is for cancer patients and survivors to experience “Expressive Writing” as a way of healing. While writing may not cure, according to scientific studies writing can heal. Everyone is welcome if you have never written, or if you have always written.