Physical and Emotional Support for Cancer Patients and Survivors in the Triangle

 In Cancer Support, Patient Experiences

When you’re undergoing or completing cancer treatment, it’s important to take care of your emotional and physical needs along the way. Cancer can bring up a lot of stressful emotions that can sometimes hinder your recovery. Take time to acknowledge your feelings and check in with your body to help keep you feeling as positive and healthy as possible.

There are a number of services in the Triangle where you can get support and connect with others who are being treated for cancer. Here are three programs we recommend to foster community and build strength during your journey.

LIVESTRONG at the YMCA

Adult cancer survivors can participate in a free health and fitness program called LIVESTRONG offered at YMCAs in Raleigh, Durham, Sanford and Chapel Hill. The LIVESTRONG program is a holistic approach focused on you as a whole person – not a diagnosis. Certified instructors, who are trained in cancer care, post-rehab exercise and nutrition, will help you build strength and muscle, increase endurance and increase energy level. The small groups consist of 12 participants, creating a supportive network.

“I feel really good. I’m exercising. [The program] was the best thing I ever did, and I’m going to continue going to the Y to exercise,” said cancer survivor Sue Knox. “They have a lot of things that are geared towards older people. You do aerobics, water aerobics, Zumba, strength training and working with weights. The program helps you get your strength and balance back and helps you get back everything you lost … You have so much in common with the people there and understand each other.”

Classes are available year-round, with 75-minute sessions offered twice a week. Prior to starting the program, participants will need medical clearance from their doctor. Visit the YMCA’s website to learn more.

Yoga for People Managing Cancer

You Call This Yoga, a nonprofit devoted to bringing the positive impact of yoga to underserved communities in the Triangle, has partnered with The Wellness Station, an organization focused on healing through movement and wellness strategies, to bring free yoga classes to individuals who are affected by cancer along with their family members.

Classes are held on Wednesday nights from 6pm-7:30pm in Durham at The Wellness Station, located at 3001 Academy Road in Suite 130. The pilot program began in October and continues through December 12, after which time additional classes may be offered.

“Our class looks to foster yoga and meditation practices and skills to provide options for restoring function, plus managing stress, physical discomfort and loss,” said Howie Shareff, executive director of You Call This Yoga.

Funding for this pilot program is provided by yoga clothier Lululemon Athletica through its “Here To Be” initiative that promotes inclusive yoga and meditation programs for the public.

For information and registration, visit http://www.yogacheryl.com/yoga-for-people-managing-cancer.html.

Look Good Feel Better®

Female cancer patients have access to a free two-hour workshop called Look Good Feel Better. During each session, cosmetology professionals teach women how to enhance their makeup, skin and nails. The program also assists patients by helping to choose wigs, scarves or other cover-ups as desired.

The beauty techniques taught in this workshop are meant to help empower patients, improve self-image and increase quality of life, while they handle temporary appearance-related side effects of cancer treatment.

A collaboration between the American Cancer Society, the Professional Beauty Association/National Cosmetology Association and Look Good Feel Better Foundation of the Personal Care Products Council, these workshops are available at multiple facilities throughout the year.

To learn more visit, the Look Good Feel Good website or search here to find locations in the Triangle.

You’re Not Alone

While you take on your fight with cancer, you need to stay focused on healing and the road to recovery, so let your support network and other outlets help. There are a multitude of nonprofits, financial assistance resources, support groups and special programs in the Triangle that you can turn to during your time of need.

If you know of a program or organization that can be of benefit to cancer patients, send us a message on our Facebook page or website contact form, and we’ll help get the word out!

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