The activities provided by Cancer Wellness Connections are designed not only to comfort and help you within the confines of the infusion room, but also to give you tips and techniques that help you moving forward.
The same things that make you feel good and comforted during treatment can help you outside the treatment room. Adverse side effects of cancer drugs can often be alleviated through physical activity. Establishing fitness routines that work with your lifestyle can help reduce stress and improve your overall well-being. Massage, reiki therapy, and meditation emphasize relaxation, helping you focus on the mindfulness and tranquility that can still be obtained during your illness and beyond. Manicures are reminders that you deserve to pamper yourself – life doesn’t need to be put on hold. Books, games, and conversations with our volunteers can combat ‘chemo fog’, but also remind you that, regardless of diagnosis, you are still a vital part of your community.
All activities are free of charge. Activities vary by location and date. Please check our calendars for details.
Personal Training As reported by the Harvard Medical School, the evidence is clear: a regular exercise program can help reduce the effects of cancer and treatment. Clinical trials have shown that “an exercise program during treatment had significantly improved quality of life, fitness, energy, and strength, as well as significantly lessened anxiety, depression, and lowered body mass index.” Check with your physician for any restrictions. Our personal trainers can provide tips on how to start or maintain a fitness routine that’s right for you.
For people with cancer, the therapist takes into account the effects of surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The massage is the traditional technique, with adjustments made for each cancer patient’s unique medical situation. There are many benefits to massage, including improved relaxation, sleep, and immune function as well as relieving anxiety, pain, fatigue, and nausea. Our massage therapists have extensive training, are fully accredited, and are approved to work with cancer patients by URMC/Wilmot Cancer Institute. The massage takes place during your infusion treatment, while you are fully clothed and seated in your chair. The therapist can provide light head, neck, hand, or foot massage.
Reiki is a technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into a patient by means of light touch. Reiki has been shown to alleviate tension, helping individuals cope with stress by providing soothing comfort and relaxation, and therefore improving emotional well-being. The reiki practitioner will assist you, ensuring that you are comfortably seated or reclined in the treatment chair. You remain fully clothed. Then, the Reiki practitioner will lightly touch or hover over the head, throat, heart, abdomen, and limbs. Little or no pressure is applied. Reiki is not massage, hypnosis, or a tool for diagnosis. The Reiki practitioner will often focus on cultivating awareness of the breath as deep and effective breathing initiates a relaxation response.
Books & Games
Many undergoing chemotherapy develop frustrating side effects, such as ‘chemo brain’ or ‘chemo fog.’ The American Cancer Society notes that people experience unusual levels of forgetfulness, lapses in concentration, difficulty with recall, and disorganization. Unfortunately, symptoms can persist or even start after treatment. One great way to combat this cognitive change is to exercise your brain! Our volunteers come armed with puzzle books and games that can challenge you and keep you entertained. Best of all, our volunteers are there to join in conversations, be a friendly face of comfort, and remind you of your important place in the community.
Chemo attacks all fast-growing cells, which means your nails can be a target also, causing discoloration, brittleness, and nail bed problems. Our manicurists will carefully file your nails, massage your hands, and even apply non-toxic, low-odor nail polish for a well-deserved pampering. A manicure is also a good reminder that although chemo may take your hair, it can’t take away your individuality and spirit.
Many undergoing chemotherapy develop frustrating side effects, such as ‘chemo brain’ or ‘chemo fog.’ The American Cancer Society notes that people experience unusual levels of forgetfulness, lapses in concentration, difficulty with recall, and disorganization. A great way to combat this cognitive change is to exercise your brain! Our volunteers come armed with puzzle books and games that can challenge you and keep you entertained. Best of all, our volunteers are there to join in conversations, be a friendly face of comfort, and remind you of your important place in the community.
The following wonderful restaurants, delis, bakeries and facilities donate delicious and hearty snacks which Cancer Wellness Connections delivers and distributes to people receiving outpatient infusion treatments in some of the clinics we serve. We are extremely grateful for their generosity and encourage you to keep them in mind when you’re looking for a place to dine, a bakery to get treats from or a new favorite bagel store!
Are you a restaurant owner or do you know someone who would like to support your neighbors undergoing cancer care? Nominate a restaurant by clicking the button below. Messages will go to Betsy Twohig-Barrett.