Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year? New Experiences!

The New Year is here and have you made a new resolution? I don’t know about you, but adding one more thing to my plate could be just one more thing to do, more pressure than I might already have in my life. To be honest, working at Buddy Kemp I am inspired every day by the stories of survivors who have added or, better said, incorporated something new into their life to bring meaning and fullness.

So maybe the New Year for you might be about looking and seeing all that is out there for you to experience. Here at Buddy Kemp we are trying to reach out to those who might be looking for a new experience. Here are a few ideas that might meet your New Year “new” expectations:
- Meditation through breathing and body movement. Our new Qi Gong class does just that. Join us the second Thursday of each month at 7pm.
- Doodling. Every Saturday in February from 10 – 11:30 a.m. you can come and let your creativity run wild! No strings attached, and there’ll even be an expert artist to help you hone your skills if you like.
- Drumming. This brings a new meaning to beating out stress! Join us for African Drumming the first Thursday of the month at 7 p.m.

It’s our resolution in 2012 to create more classes and programming based on what YOU want! Sooo… keep us posted! What can we do to make 2012 a more educational, entertaining, relaxing year for you?

~ Marcia, Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center

Friday, December 16, 2011

Defining the "New Normal"

One cannot say enough about the life changes that take place once a cancer diagnosis is given. The medical piece alone – the plan of care - can include months of weekly treatments and appointments with physicians.

Then there’s the other half of your life - the non-medical stuff – that you need to consider and change, including: exercise, nutrition and coping with the emotional aspects of cancer. Suffice to say, in many cases there becomes a “new normal,”

This “new normal” shouldn’t be taken lightly. It is a big deal to figure out what fits within your new routine. Places like Buddy Kemp offer programs and groups for cancer survivor and family members to get the support they need to help define and adjust to the “new normal.” Many also find it helpful to be among other survivors, as the camaraderie offers support in making the changes that might work for you.

Regardless, there are no rules for what’s right or what’s wrong in creating a “new normal.” Let us know what has been helpful to you!

~ Marcia, Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Power of Relationships...

I heard on the news this morning that the idea that there are six degrees of separation between any two people on Earth has now decreased to 4.75 degrees of separation. This concept that we are on average a mere 4.75 steps away from a common connection to each other started me thinking about the connection between cancer survivors.

I consistently see survivors and their families develop bonds with other survivors they meet along the cancer journey. What begins as crossing paths in a radiation waiting room or infusion center can flourish into a deep and meaningful relationship. The bond is not always obvious as it forms but it is apparent when you hear them lightly reference each other as “members of the club” (referring to routine visits to the chemotherapy infusion rooms). Even survivors who are more reserved in making relationships with other survivors show evidence of a bond when they inquire about a familiar face that is absent from where they expect to see them.

This says a lot about the power of human relationships and the impact that we have on others around us. No, it may not be your intention to build a relationship with someone who is going through cancer. Your focus most likely is surviving and getting through treatment but the natural empathy that each of us possesses draws us to have concern for one another.

Although it is not your intention to inspire or encourage, recognize that the power of your presence can inspire and does encourage. Remember this the next time you are walking through the infusion room or waiting for your oncology appointment. Be mindful of those around you and how your kind word or friendly smile may be a gift to a newly diagnosed person - the fuel that helps motivate them on their path to survivorship.

How do you connect with other survivors?

~ Tiffany, Buddy Kemp Cancer Support Center