"You have cancer."
These are words that most everyone fears. Those who work with cancer patients know all too well the many levels of emotions that follow. Not only are patients overwhelmed with their own concerns and questions, but they think about the people close to them and how the diagnosis will affect them.
Appointments with different physicians are made. Tests are ordered. Then comes the wait for results and the difficult decisions about treatment options.
In the meantime, life beyond the diagnosis goes on. The are many questions: What about my job? How will I pay for all of this? Am I going to die? How can I tell my family and friends about this? Why did this happen to me? Will my partner still find me attractive?
While your cancer is being treated, there is a forum for you to have these other life concerns addressed and honored, and where you and your loved ones can obtain the tools and encouragement you need to live your life to the fullest.
Central Baptist Hospital's Journey Toward Empowerment series is open to anyone who has ever been diagnosed with cancer, regardless of where they are being treated. All Journey Toward Empowerment programs are free and take place mostly on Tuesdays at Central Baptist Church at Wilson Downing Road and Nicholasville Road in Lexington.
Participants can get to know fellow cancer patients and guests during a free meal from 6-6:30 p.m. Each program is led by a certified oncology nurse, a psychologist with Bluegrass Health Psychology and a professional who specializes in the topic of the evening. During the speaker's presentation, the atmosphere is relaxed, comfortable and conducive to sharing and asking questions.
Some upcoming dates and topics for the programs are:
■ Oct. 30: Wired & Tired — Fighting Fatigue
■ Nov. 27: Overwhelmed! What to Do ... — Stress Management Tools
■ Dec. 11: Caring for Your Spirit
■ Jan. 22: Picture Your Life with Less Pain
■ Feb. 9: The Intimacy Factor
■ Feb. 19: Mind, Body & Soul — Therapies that Can Help
■ March 5: How to Wear Your Genes — Genetics and Cancer
■ March 19: Caring for Your Spirit
Registration is required so enough food can be prepared. You must register for each class separately. To register, call (859) 260-6574.
Peggy Wheeler, RN, OCN, a breast cancer nurse navigator at Central Baptist Hospital, serves as a facilitator of the Journey Toward Empowerment series.