Cancer support for patients and their families
Patti Jensen is a social worker at Banner Thunderbird Medical Center. She can be reached at (602) 865-5450.
Question: Why is support important for cancer patients and their families?
Answer: A cancer diagnosis often causes patients and their families to face their own mortality for the first time – a daunting reality for anyone. And if that’s not enough, there are the practical concerns. How will treatment work into the day-to-day routines of life? Is it possible to continue working, parenting, socializing – just plain continue living – during this time?
Newly diagnosed patients often seek out support groups looking for a comfortable place to talk about life since their diagnosis. They find practical tips and encouragement from those who have gone through the same fight. Many stay involved with these support groups long after treatment has ended to offer their support to newcomers.
Children of cancer patients have unique needs as they struggle just to understand their own feelings toward this disease. Kids will have questions about cancer and will need good answers.
Banner Thunderbird hosts several support groups, each tailored for various types of patients and lifestyles.
- Kids Can Cope: This free program focuses on children ages 6-16 with parents or loved ones with cancer. Unlike our adult programs, the kids don’t just sit and talk. They are engaged in games and other creative activities that enable them to learn and communicate about what’s going on in their lives.
The group meets from 7 to 8 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Radiation Oncology conference room located in Outpatient Services.
- I Can Cope: This American Cancer Society program provides knowledge to make it easier to deal with the fear of being diagnosed with cancer. This free program is for cancer patients and their family members.
This group meets every fourth Monday from 6:30-8:30 p.m. in Conference Room 5.
- Young Women’s Cancer Support Group: This group is for women ages 18-40 who have been diagnosed with cancer. It offers peer support with professional facilitators and guest speakers.
The group meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7-8:45 p.m. in the small meeting room Glendale Public Library, 5959 W. Brown Street (just south of Peoria Avenue) in Glendale.
For more information about any of these support groups, please call Patti Jensen at (602) 865-5450.