There's help for facing the fear of cancer

contributing columnistSeptember 2, 2013 

The band Empire of the Sun performed Saturday at the two-day Budweiser Made in America Festival in Philadelphia.

Hearing that you or someone you know has cancer is overwhelming. Along with the diagnosis come many visits to health-care providers for tests, surgeries and treatments.

But life rolls right along. There is work, household responsibilities, children, grandchildren, friends, relationships and activities that you still want and need to be involved in.

There are also questions: How will I tell my children or grandchildren? How will I continue to care for my aging parents? How will I pay for my cancer care? How will I get through this? How can I stand the stress of it all?

Journey Toward Empowerment is a free series of programs in which these life concerns are addressed and honored, and where you and your loved ones can get the tools and encouragement you need to live your life to the fullest.

The series is open to those who have been diagnosed with cancer, regardless of where they are being treated. The programs take place on the first Tuesday of each month, starting Sept. 3, at the American Cancer Society office at 1504 College Way in Lexington.

The program is led by a certified oncology nurse, a psychologist from Bluegrass Health Psychology and a professional who specializes in the topic of the evening. The speaker's presentation is relaxed and conducive to sharing concerns and asking questions.

A free dinner is served at 6 p.m., when participants can meet other cancer survivors and caregivers. The program gets underway at 6:30 p.m.

Program dates and topics are:

September 3: We're in this Together — Communicating with Family and Friends

Oct. 1: Facing your Fears ... All of Them

Nov. 5: Complementary Therapies — Massage, Yoga & Music Therapy

Dec. 3: Managing Side Effects of Treatment

Jan. 7: Overwhelmed! What to do ... Stress Management Tools

Feb. 4: Caring for the Spirit

March 4: Nutrition: The Essential Ingredient for Health & Well-Being

April 1: Looking Good, Feeling Better

May 6: Paying for Cancer Care

June 3: Wired and Tired — Fighting Fatigue

To learn more or to register to attend, call (859) 260-4357 or visit

Peggy Wheeler, a breast cancer nurse navigator at Baptist Health Lexington, serves as a facilitator of the Journey Toward Empowerment series.

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