Holy Name Medical Center Blog

Connect with us at the Cancer Support Community

Posted by Courtney Lozano, MSW, LSW
Program Director
Cancer Support Community, Holy Name Medical Center on June 3, 2021
Courtney Lozano, MSW, LSW

National Cancer Survivors Day is celebrated in June to recognize those affected by the disease and to raise awareness about their ongoing challenges. At Holy Name’s Cancer Support Community, we are here year-round to provide support, education and hope for patients, survivors, caregivers and loved ones.

The 34th annual Cancer Survivors Day – this year on Sunday, June 6 – is a time to celebrate life, particularly as we emerge from a pandemic that has added extra emotional challenges for all. Join us for our virtual National Cancer Survivors celebration on Wednesday, June 30, at 11 a.m.

A cancer diagnosis can feel isolating and traumatic; at the Cancer Support Community, we’ve done our best during this difficult year – mostly through virtual programming – to maintain our professionally led programs of emotional support, relaxation, exercise and education.

We offer weekly support groups and monthly special events, where participants can express their feelings and create bonds with others going through a similar experience. There are three support groups - Connecting through Cancer, Living Beyond Cancer, and a group for those with gynecologic cancers. We also offer educational workshops with featured speakers on a variety of pertinent topics.

Our programs, events, and support groups are offered at no cost to patients, survivors, caregivers, and family members, whether or not they received medical care at Holy Name.

Intentional Emotional Well-being

We live in an area where world-class medical treatments are available for cancer, but we must be just as intentional about taking care of our emotional health.

In the Cancer Support Community, we try to make sure social and emotional support goes hand in hand with the medical piece. Whether you are in treatment or post-treatment, meeting others who have been down this road can be incredibly powerful.

Although medical treatment can be grueling, adapting to life afterward also presents challenges. Patients in recovery from cancer are happy to move on but also need some support; we try to offer a safety net as they process their experiences and adapt to their “new normal.” The Cancer Support Community offers a sense of belonging in a time when it is needed the most. One participant told me, “This is my corner of paradise. Coming here replenishes my soul.”

Movement and Healing

Our team of dedicated fitness instructors and volunteers offer yoga, meditation, tai chi, and fitness classes for all levels of experience. The sessions are geared toward cancer patients and survivors, with offerings like lymphatic movement, chair yoga, and relaxation.

Our population can be medically vulnerable so we will continue with a hybrid model for now: virtual classes, workshops and support groups along with outdoor in-person fitness classes at HNH Fitness in Oradell. For those who have challenges with online access, most often we can provide a work-around, using phone calls.

The switch to virtual classes was a learning curve for us all, but ultimately participants are grateful these programs were available during such a trying time. Enrollment in our support groups has grown during the pandemic. People need and want to connect!

We’re here for you wherever you are in your cancer journey - from diagnosis through survivorship. Take a look at our extensive calendar to see what interests you and might be helpful to you. Give us a call, and I can help guide you to the best programming for you.

Find a calendar of events or register for virtual classes and programs at HolyName.org/CancerSupport, call 201 833 3392, or email me directly at clozano@holyname.org. Cancer Support Community, a national non-profit organization, partnered with Holy Name in 2016 to offer free support programs to anyone affected by cancer. Programs are open to patients in treatment, post-treatment, caregivers, family members, and survivors from the entire community, whether or not they received medical care at Holy Name.

Find us on Facebook! facebook.com/cancersupportcommunityholyname

Courtney Lozano, MSW, LSW, has been leading the Cancer Support Community at Holy Name since 2016. She earned her master’s degree in social work from Fordham University and has worked in health care for more than 10 years.