No one is ever prepared for cancer. When patients receive this diagnosis, they are often confused, anxious and overwhelmed. Valley’s Oncology Social Workers can make coping easier. Through individual, family and group counseling, they help patients feel more in control and better able to make decisions. In addition, educational information is provided to help patients become better informed about their illness.
Oncology Nurses and Social Workers also facilitate several support groups. They include:
Relaxation/Visualization Group - a weekly group that provides total body relaxation and guided imagery. This group is open to all patients, staff, and anyone in the community. Meetings are every Wednesday from 10:30 to 11 a.m. No registration required. For more information, call 201-634-5787.
Young Women's Breast Cancer Support Group - for women ages 45 and under living with breast cancer who are in treatment and up to two years post treatment. Meets the second Monday of each month from 6:30 to 8 p.m. To register, call 201-634-5787.
Metastatic Breast Cancer Support Group - for women living with metastatic or stage 4 breast cancer. Meets the third Wednesday of each month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To register, call 201-634-5787.
Living with Cancer Support Group - for patients diagnosed with cancer who are currently undergoing active treatment to share in their experiences and offer mutual support. To register, call 201-634-5787.
Life After Cancer Treatment Support Group - for patients with no evidence of disease who are at least one month post treatment and up to two years post treatment. Meets the fourth Monday of each month from 6 to 7:30 p.m. To register, call 201-634-5422.
Stress reducing techniques such as visualization and progressive relaxation are discussed and taught. These programs can assist the patient in retaining emotional control. Individual practice of these techniques is also taught on the hospital's inpatient cancer unit. Whatever the technique, the goal is to foster relaxation and allow the person to participate in the healing process.
Whether patients are recently diagnosed, experiencing a recurrence or coping with end-of-life issues, Oncology Nurses and Social Workers can make dealing with cancer more manageable. They understand where patients are in the struggle against their illness. For patients needing long-term medical care, Oncology Social Workers arrange nursing home or inpatient hospice placements while addressing the emotional issues that these enormous life changes entail.
Oncology Social Workers often introduce patients to other organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society or disease-specific organizations. They also function as liaisons to community resources that can help meet the needs of patients who require assistance in obtaining food, medication or transportation to medical treatment.
For more information, please call 201-634-5787.