Fall 2012

Fall 2012

The purpose of life, after all, is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience. – Eleanor Roosevelt

Welcome to the Fall 2012 issue of Life to the Fullest, the Swedish Cancer Institute’s newsletter for survivors, and their caregivers and family members. This issue is dedicated to exploring ways to live life to the fullest as you or your loved ones become cancer survivors.

We hope you find this newsletter helpful. We encourage you to print a copy or forward this message to your family and friends who also might find it interesting and informative.


Table of Contents

Download the .pdf version of Life to the Fullest Fall 2012

 


Living Life to the Fullest

Brian Aylward and Mandi deSouza

“Living life to the fullest” may be a common expression – but what it means is unique to each individual. While some people may think they are living a full life because they have a rewarding career, others may look at emotional, spiritual or physical fulfillment as the key to a full life. Still others use a “bucket list” as their guidepost to living life to the fullest.


Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

– Mark Twain


It isn’t always easy to live life to the fullest – the stresses and chaos of daily life can get in the way. For cancer survivors, it can be even more challenging.

Being diagnosed with cancer is the beginning of a difficult time. The entire process – from diagnosis to treatment to becoming a survivor – can be exhausting. Your personal world may change, your emotional and physical wellbeing may be altered, and your time with family and friends may be limited. This experience, however, can also offer you the chance to learn, grow and appreciate what is truly important and meaningful.

Taking the first step after treatment

According to Jacci Thompson-Dodd, M.A., MSSS, a major step in learning how to live life to the fullest after cancer treatment is to gain self-acceptance. After completing treatment, it is normal to want to resume life as it was before diagnosis. Many patients, however, notice that physical limitations prevent them from participating in activities they enjoyed in the past. Other patients may notice that their values and interests have changed. Regardless of the changes you experience as you transition from treatment to survivorship, it is important to be gentle with yourself. Use these realizations as an opportunity to explore how cancer has changed various aspects of your life.


Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

– Henry David Thoreau


Limitations can be the springboard to self-discovery. Change can be powerful and overcoming cancer can be more empowering than you may imagine.

As you complete treatment and try to resume life as it was before diagnosis, keep in mind the following:

  • Cancer changes at least one aspect of life for nearly every survivor. Some people say cancer changed their body image or sexuality, or made them fearful of the reoccurrence of cancer. Keep in mind that counseling has helped many cancer survivors work through these issues. Call the Swedish Cancer Institute’s Cancer Education Center at 206-386-3200 for more information about psychiatry, art therapy or other services available through social work.
  • Take time to explore parts of you that weren’t changed by cancer. Do you still love to dance? Take a dance class. Have you always wanted to learn how to make wine? Sign up for a winemaking course. Don’t be afraid to resume favorite activities, try new things or get involved in classes at the Swedish Cancer Institute or in the community.
  • Some cancer survivors look back on their cancer experience and say that it was the best thing that ever happened to them. Although this surely isn’t the case for everyone, explore how surviving cancer can be an opportunity to reflect on what is truly important to you. With whom do you enjoy spending time? What do you like to do with your free time? What makes you the happiest? Take a step back, answer these questions and make time to do the things you enjoy the most.
  • It is okay to focus on you. It’s often too easy to put other people before yourself, so never forget your own wants, needs and desires.

There is only one success, to be able to spend your life in your own way. – Christopher Morley

 


Reflection Activity

Write down 20 things you like/love to do. What you write does not have to be something major – it can be as simple as drinking a cup of hot cocoa on a rainy day or learning something new. As you write, don’t worry about the order of the items on your list and don’t second guess yourself. What you find yourself writing may surprise you!

Once complete, reflect on each item you’ve included on your list. How often are you able to take part in each activity? For many people, an important aspect of “living life to fullest” is to find time for activities that bring them the most joy and happiness. Do you feel like you are spending enough time doing the things on your list – the things that you have identified as making you the happiest? If not, what can you do to rearrange your priorities, so you can truly live life to the fullest?


Learning How to Live Life to the Fullest

Jacci Thompson-Dodd, M.A., MSSS, is an author, health educator and medical social worker. Jacci facilitates two classes specific to cancer survivorship.

After Breast Cancer: What’s Next?

An eight-week group class for women who are preparing to live life after breast-cancer treatment. This class is offered at two locations.

Date: Wednesdays, Sept. 26 - Nov. 14
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, True Family Women’s Cancer Center Healing Forum, Arnold Pavilion, 5th floor, 1221 Madison St., Seattle

or

Date: Thursdays, Sept. 27 - Nov. 15
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Swedish Edmonds  ampus, Auditorium A, 21601 76th Ave. W., Edmonds

After Cancer Treatment: What’s Next?

An eight-week group class for any cancer patient who is preparing to live life after cancer treatment.

Date: Tuesdays, Sept. 25 - Nov. 13
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, True Family Women’s Cancer Center Healing Forum, Arnold Pavilion, 5th floor, 1221 Madison St., Seattle


Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once. – Lillian Dickson


Cancer Awareness

Did you know that September is National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month? This is a good time to think about how we can help save the lives of our grandfathers, fathers, brothers and sons through increased awareness of prostate cancer.

Cancer-awareness months provide the perfect opportunity to share information about specific types of cancer in order to increase knowledge about symptoms, screenings and treatment options, to reduce the stigma of cancer, and to help raise funds for cancer research.

Coming cancer awareness months include:

  • October 2012: National Breast Cancer Awareness Month
  • November 2012: Lung Cancer Awareness Month and Pancreatic Cancer Awareness Month
  • January 2013: Cervical Cancer Awareness Month

What are you doing to increase cancer awareness?


Knit for Life™ is now in Issaquah

The Swedish Cancer Institute is happy to announce that Knit for Life has expanded from Swedish First Hill to Swedish Issaquah! This network of volunteers uses knitting as a healing experience to enhance the lives of cancer patients, their families and caregivers during treatment and recovery. It provides a supportive environment for beginning and experienced knitters. All materials (including needles, yarn and patterns) are provided and all are welcome! The holidays are just around the corner – what better way to make holiday gifts than through creative healing!

Swedish First Hill: Swedish Cancer Institute, Arnold Pavilion, First-Floor Lobby, 1221 Madison St., Seattle; Thursdays, 1-3 p.m.

Swedish Issaquah: Medical Office Building, Main Lobby (in front of the fireplace), 751 N.E. Blakely Dr., Issaquah; Mondays, 1-3 p.m.


Creative Expression

Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can. – Danny Kaye

The Swedish Cancer Institute offers both individual and group art therapy sessions. These programs are now accepting new participants – no experience or confidence in art making is necessary and all materials are provided. Come experience the healing benefits of art making in a supportive setting!

Art Therapy: An Approach for Healing

Join Nicole Stiver, art therapist, for an individual, confidential and supportive art therapy session. During this session, you will have the opportunity to visually and verbally examine health issues through self-exploration. An appointment is required. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please call 206-215-6178.
Swedish First Hill: Cancer Education Center, Arnold Pavilion, A-floor West, 1221 Madison St., Seattle. Ongoing weekly sessions are available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only.

Healing Arts Group

This drop-in art therapy group is open to cancer patients, survivors, family members and caregivers. Questions? Please call 206-215-6178.
Swedish First Hill: Thursdays (beginning Oct. 18), 10 a.m. to noon, True Family Women’s Cancer Center Healing Forum, Arnold Pavilion, 5th floor, 1221 Madison St., Seattle


Cancer Support Groups

The Swedish Cancer Institute offers a variety of support groups. The groups provide an opportunity to meet with others having experiences similar to your own. All groups are led by an experienced Swedish Cancer Institute support group facilitator and are open to everyone in the community. Please call 206-540-0477 for more information.

Living with Cancer Support Group

For individuals living with any type of cancer. Meets weekly on Thursdays, 1:30-3 p.m., at Swedish First Hill.

Caregivers Support Group

A drop-in group for caregivers. Meets weekly on Thursdays, 1:30-3 p.m., at Swedish First Hill.

Gynecological Cancers Support Group

For women with gynecological cancers. Meets weekly on Tuesdays, 10:30 a.m.-noon, at Swedish First Hill.

Prostate Cancer Educational Support Group

Meets the third Thursday of the month, 8:30-9:30 a.m., at Swedish First Hill. For more information, call Leo Ward at 425-957-7440.

Oral and Head & Neck Cancer Support

Meets the third Thursday of the month, 6-7:30 p.m., at Swedish First Hill. For more information, call Joanne Fenn at 206-215-1770.

 


Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift. That's why it's called the present. 
– Unknown

 


Fall 2012 Patient Education Classes

The Swedish Cancer Institute offers many programs for cancer patients, survivors and family members. Registration is required for all classes unless otherwise indicated. To register, call 206-386-2502 or go to www.swedish.org/classes.

Class Calendar

(see below for class descriptions, locations, days and times)

Sept. 18: Healing the Whole Person: Mind, Body and Spirit
Sept. 19 (six sessions): Chair Yoga
Sept. 24: The Anticancer Lifestyle
Sept. 25 (eight weeks): After Cancer Treatment: What’s Next?
Sept. 26 (eight weeks): After Breast Cancer: What’s Next?
Sept. 27: Eating Well When Dealing with Cancer
Oct. 8: Acrylic Painting
Oct. 9: Hot Flashes and Related Symptom Management
Oct. 19: Food, Mood and You
Nov. 1: The Anticancer Lifestyle
Nov. 5: Healing the Whole Person: Mind, Body and Spirit
Nov. 6: Eating Well When Dealing with Cancer
Nov. 12: Watercolor Workshop

Locations

(street addresses for locations included in the class descriptions that are listed below)

Swedish Edmonds (21601 76th Ave. W., Edmonds)

Swedish First Hill (Arnold Building, 1221 Madison St., Seattle)

Swedish Issaquah (751 N.E. Blakely Dr., Issaquah)

Issaquah Library (10 W. Sunset Way, Issaquah)

Lake Hills Library (15590 Lake Hills Blvd., Bellevue)

Class Descriptions

Acrylic Painting

Create your own work of art using acrylic paints. Paints, brushes, canvas and art instruction provided. All skill levels welcome.
Date: Monday, Oct. 8
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, Donald A. Tesh, M.D., Conference Rooms A and B

After Breast Cancer: What’s Next?

An eight-week group class for women who are preparing to live life after breast-cancer treatment. This class is offered at two locations.
Date: Wednesdays, Sept. 26 - Nov. 14
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, True Family Women’s Cancer Center Healing Forum

or

Date: Thursdays, Sept. 27 - Nov. 15
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Swedish Edmonds Campus, Auditorium A

After Cancer Treatment: What’s Next?

An eight-week group class for any cancer patients who is preparing to live life after cancer treatment.
Date: Tuesdays, Sept. 25 - Nov. 13
Time: 4:30-6 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, True Family Women’s Cancer Center, Healing Forum

The Anticancer Lifestyle

Explore recent findings on ways to increase your resistance to cancer with health educator Carol Robl. Learn how to create an anticancer lifestyle by eating beneficial foods, protecting yourself from environmental threats and enhancing your physical and emotional wellbeing. This class is offered at two locations.
Date: Monday, Sept. 24
Time: 7-8:30 p.m.
Location: Issaquah Library

or

Date: Thursday, Nov. 1
Time: 6-7:30 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, Donald A. Tesh, M.D., Conference Rooms A and B

Chair Yoga

Chair Yoga is the perfect class for individuals with physical challenges who find it difficult to participate in traditional yoga. Chair yoga increases blood circulation, flexibility, range of motion, balance and overall energy. Light meditation and breathing techniques are also taught. Six sessions.
Date: Wednesdays, Sept. 19 - Oct. 24
Time: 2-3 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, True Family Women’s Cancer Center Healing Forum

Eating Well When Dealing with Cancer

Join Brian Higginson, R.D., as he explains healthy eating, managing side effects and maximizing nutritional intake. Recipe sampling provided. This class is offered twice.
Date: Thursday, Sept. 27, or Tuesday, Nov. 6
Time: 5-6 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill  campus, Arnold Pavilion, Donald A. Tesh, M.D., Conference Rooms A and B

Food, Mood and You

Good food, good mood! Discover how foods can affect your mood, and see the connections between what you eat and how you feel. Learn how this applies to the challenges faced during treatment and recovery of cancer – and illness in general. Naturopathic physician Patrick Bufi, N.D., will provide some practical tips on what you can do to maintain balance and wellness.
Date: Friday, Oct. 19
Time: 4-6 p.m.
Location: Lake Hills Library

Healing the Whole Person: Body, Mind and Spirit

Join health educator Carol Robl as she explores guidelines that can enhance the lives of those with cancer or who have completed treatment, and their family members. This class is based on concepts from Dr. Jeremy Geffen’s book Seven Levels of Healing. It is offered twice.
Date: Tuesday, Sept. 18
Time: 10-11:30 a.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, True Family Women’s Cancer Center Healing Forum

or

Date: Monday, Nov. 5
Time: 5-6:30 p.m.
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, True Family Women’s Cancer Center Healing Forum

Hot Flashes and Related Symptom Management

Natural medicine offers safe ways to manage hot flashes without the use of hormone therapy. With these simple, practical tips, you’ll sleep better and feel better all day. Naturopathic physician Kathleen Pratt, N.D., will talk about diet, lifestyle tips and nutritional supplementation.
Date: Tuesday, Oct. 9
Time: 7-9 p.m.
Location: Issaquah Library

Watercolor Workshop

Learn different techniques to achieve texture and pattern in this exploratory watercolor class. All skill levels are welcome and all materials are provided.
Date: Monday, Nov. 12
Time: 10 a.m.-noon
Location: Swedish First Hill campus, Arnold Pavilion, Donald A. Tesh, M.D., Conference Rooms A and B


 

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do. - Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

 

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