by Gail Hamm, program director
I just had to share an experience I had last week as I took part in our new Tai Chi class. I had an idea of what it would be like, but I did not anticipate that I would like it so much.
First, you have to know that I do not like to exercise. I get bored, as well as challenged by shortness of breath. What I found was that I could actually follow the instructor, Susan Swardenski, and do the moves she demonstrated. They are soft and slow and designed to not strain the body. I did know I was getting a workout, however, because I had to remove my jacket when I became too warm. And breathing deeply at times caused a bit of lightheadedness. My body was probably shocked that it was finally getting the oxygen it needed!
Susan explained that Tai Chi is rooted in the martial arts. The moves are designed to keep the body balanced and promote increased body awareness by engaging the mind as well as the body. It’s not like other exercise I am familiar with, in that it is not about building muscle mass. It’s about promoting better health through movement, no matter what your abilities may be. It tends to decrease tension and can increase one’s ability to manage fatigue and pain.
There were 14 of us….. people with cancer, caregivers, and staff. Only a few had previously been in a Tai Chi class. We were of all ages and our abilities varied considerably…from people who moved fairly easily to those who chose to do all the exercises in a seated position.
I can’t wait for the next session of Tai Chi. By participating in this class, I hope to gain better balance, an increased lung capacity, and overall better health. Now it’s time to practice the home work we were given last week: …breathe slowly…in….and …. out …..in….and….out….in….and….out…..
We are constantly looking for better ways to meet the needs of our clients and caregivers. Whether you are looking for a group of people with whom to share your cancer and treatment concerns and ask questions, or whether you have been told to exercise and are looking for a program that is helpful but not strenuous, check out what we have to offer.
Also, remember that hours are expanding starting January 10: open Mondays from 9:00AM until 7:00PM. Tuesday-Friday open from 9:00AM until 5:00PM.
Examples of new and revised programs for 2011:
- Tai Chi ..a 6 weeks movement program…. helps with relaxation and pain management. Starts Wednesday, January 5 at 5:30PM. Call to reserve your spot. Susan Swardenski facilitates.
- re-Energize! …an exercise program for people of any ability…restarts Tuesday February 1 and meets every Tue & Thursday at 6:00PM. Courtney Berger facilitates.
- The Whipple Group is changing its name to Pancreas, Gall Bladder, Bile Duct Cancer Support Group. The name better describes who the group is for and expands the number of people eligible. Whipple is the name of a surgical technique often used with these types of cancers, but not everyone with one of these diagnoses actually undergoes the Whipple procedure. Meets 3rd Wednesday at 6:30PM. Amy Solaro-Geraghty facilitates.
- Reminder of a general cancer support group: Turning Points. Meets 2nd Tuesday monthly at 5:30PM. Peter Albertson facilitates.
- Caring Touch massage program. Call to schedule an appointment.
All the above groups meet in the Healing Arts Center of Cancer Services, 6316 Mutual Drive, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.
- The South Side Group …a NEW general cancer support group…for those people with any kind of cancer ( and their caregivers) who are looking for a support group on the south side of town. Meets at Lutheran Life Villages, 6701 S Anthony Blvd., entrance under the portico. Meets 3rd Wednesday each month, 6:30PM-8:00PM starting January 19. Helen Claire Ferguson facilitates.
Some of our cancer-specific support groups have disbanded, so we encourage individuals interested in attending a support group to try one of our general cancer support groups.
Please call Gail Hamm at 484-9560 or 866-484-9560 if you have any questions about these or other programs offered by Cancer Services or if there are other programs you would like Cancer Services to offer.
by Bill Seidel
Cancer Services of Northeast Indiana and Us TOO International sponsored a successful seminar on prostate cancer and men’s health on Saturday, September 18. The seminar was held at Cancer Services and featured six speakers addressing topics, such as PSA Screening and Active Surveillance, Surgical Options for Prostate Cancer, Systemic Treatments such as Immunotherapy and Provenge, Nutrition, Exercise and Enhancing Men’s Sexual Health. Not surprisingly the session on enhancing sexual health was the most heavily attended. All speakers provided interesting information in an entertaining format. We hope to make this an annual event.
The Us TOO Information Table. Us TOO International provides extensive information on prostate cancer in all of its various forms and ramifications. The most popular publications were made available for attendees.
We are sponsoring a seminar on prostate cancer and men’s sexual health on Saturday, September 18, from 9 AM to 1 PM. The event will be held at our facility, 6316 Mutual Drive.
The seminar will feature the following presentations:
- Prostate Cancer: PSA Screening, and the Option of Watchful Waiting, presented by Jeff Schneider, M.D.
- Maintaining and Enhancing Men’s Sexual Health, presented by Janet Casperson, PA
- The Role of Nutrition in Preventing and Fighting Prostate Cancer
- The Role of Exercise in Preventing and Fighting Prostate Cancer, presented by Michelle Lefevra
- Surgical Options for Treating Prostate Cancer, presented by Mark Dabagia, M.D.
- Systematic Treatment of Prostate Cacncer: Hormonal Therapy, Provenge Vaccine, and Chemotherapy, presented by Musaberk Goksel, M.D.
To reserve your spot, call (260) 484-9560, or for more information, visit cancer-services.org.