It is a scary thing to be diagnosed with Cancer, and it happens more often than most people think. In fact, over the course of a lifetime, one in three women and one in two men will develop cancer. And when they do, the diagnosis comes with a number of tough questions, like “where did it come from? Is it treatable? Is it curable? How will it affect me and my loved ones? And even, “why me?” It is very common for people diagnosed with cancer to experience some very real emotions, often including fear, powerlessness and isolation. The world is different following a diagnosis of cancer.
Your medical team, which includes doctors, nurses, and therapists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer, is of primarily importance, it is equally important to have a team to help treat your emotional, mental and spiritual needs. The primary base of support for patients often includes caregivers, family and friends. But many people find they get a lot out of relationships with others who have ‘been there,’ who have gone through similar feelings, emotions, tests, and treatments, or with those who have studied and understand the needs of people who find themselves dealing with this disease.
While Portneuf Cancer Center is fully accredited and provides a multidisciplinary, evidence-based, technologically advanced team approach to care, we don’t just talk about a whole-person approach to treatment, we offer it through our supportive services. Each of our patients meets with our social worker, dietitian and financial counselor as they begin treatment. And in addition, patients are encouraged to take advantage of our well established support groups.
The support groups are staffed by Portneuf’s Oncology Social Worker, Robb Dye, LCSW and by Jennifer Robinson, PA-C, Oncology Physician Assistant. We choose discussion topics that are relevant to cancer survivors at various stages of diagnosis; including active treatment and survivorship beyond active treatment. All groups are committed to confidentiality.
The HOPE (Helping Other People Endure) Cancer Support Group meets on Mondays from 5:00-6:30pm at the PMC Bannock Creek Conference Room. This group is made up of cancer patients who are currently receiving treatment or have completed treatment. The group welcomes all patients, support people and caregivers.
Our second support group, Living with HOPE, was created to help those living with advanced cancer. If you have been told that your cancer is treatable, but not curable, that your cancer has metastasized to other parts of your body, or that you have stage IV cancer, this group meets to strengthen each other and focus on living life while coping with advanced disease. This group meets in the Portneuf Cancer Center Conference Room from 2:00-3:30pm the first and third Wednesday of each month.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer, we welcome and encourage you to visit our Cancer Center, attend a support group and/or meet our dedicated team of professionals. To learn more about our support groups visit www.portmed.org/classes-events/support-groups or contact us at 208-239-1754 or 208-239-1720.