For some of the most critical topics, we know there’s always more to say. Some things we just need to talk about.
Discussion Series are an opportunity to take a deep dive into the most important issues. Join for one session, or participate in the entire month-long series for extended learning and discussion in a group setting.
Each ninety minute online workshop will focus on a different aspect of the overall topic, featuring a presentation and small group discussions. The first 30 minutes of the session will be a recorded presentation to be shared on our website as a mini-webinar available to our full community. The final hour will be a confidential discussion section and will not be recorded.
September Discussion Series:
Tuesdays from 5:30 - 7:00 pm ET
Cancer can cause many changes to our body physically and the experience can also impact your relationship with your body. Receiving a cancer diagnosis comes with an awareness that your body is no longer safe and the side effects of cancer treatment can cause drastic short term and long term physical changes. It can be overwhelming to adjust to these changes while also navigating treatment and personal relationships. This 4-week discussion series will explore the impact of cancer on body image and the unique challenges AYAs encounter navigating their relationship with their body both during and after treatment.
Adjusting to a Changing Body
Tuesday, September 5
After cancer treatment, it’s likely that your body looks and feels different…maybe very different. It can be distressing to adjust to the changes, even if they are temporary. Concerns about body image are valid and worthy of attention from your care team. This session will provide an opportunity to discuss how body changes affect your mental health and connect with other young patients/survivors experiencing the same concerns.
Accepting Body Changes
Tuesday, September 12
Many cancer patients experience changes in their appearance because of treatment, which can feel devastating particularly for young patients. Even temporary body changes can be distressing and disorienting, and permanent changes like scars, ostomies, and amputations can have major effects, both personally and socially. This session will provide an opportunity to discuss how body changes affect the mental health of patients/survivors and share a framework to shift your relationship with body image towards acceptance or neutrality.
Bringing Sexy Back: Navigating Sex & Intimacy
Tuesday, September 19
There is nothing sexy about cancer treatment. Whether you are navigating chemotherapy, radiation, or surgeries – the endless appointments, medications, side effects, and stress can make you feel more of a lab rat than a person. How do you feel sexy or intimate with your partner(s) when you no longer feel connected to your body or when your body no longer functions in the same way? Join this discussion session to explore the challenges of navigating sex and intimacy during or after treatment and connect with other AYAs who can relate and provide support.
The Body Keeps the Score: The Impact of Trauma on Body Image
Tuesday, September 26
Cancer can feel like a physical assault on your body and the trauma can have long term effects on your relationship with your body. The endless medical procedures and side effects of treatment may cause you to disconnect from your body as a way to cope. Unfortunately this disconnection can cause both short term and long term difficulties connecting with your body in safe and comfortable ways. Join this discussion session to learn more about the impacts of trauma on your relationship with your body and learn new techniques for coping with both the physical and psychological impacts of trauma.
October Discussion Series:
Connection & Isolation
Mondays from 5:30 - 7:00 pm ET
Cancer can be such an isolating experience, especially for AYAs. You might feel like a totally different person during cancer treatment or in survivorship – and these changes can often lead to increased feelings of isolation and challenges navigating relationships. This two-week discussion session series is an opportunity to explore these difficulties while connecting with other AYAs.
Navigating Relationships: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Monday, October 2
Cancer may bring a whole new world of relationship challenges with partners, family, friends, colleagues, and health care professionals. It also might bring awkward, invasive, or downright rude comments or questions from people in your life. How you navigate these situations may impact your health and sense of well being. This interactive workshop will offer an opportunity to share common concerns about the new, difficult dynamics in your personal and professional relationships. We will also discuss ways to establish healthy boundaries in your relationships to help strengthen your relationships and preserve your mental health.
Coping with Isolation: The Loneliness of Cancer
Monday, October 16
One side effect of cancer that isn’t always acknowledged is the pain of loneliness caused by feelings of isolation. You may no longer be well enough to participate in social activities that help you feel connected. Friends and family may not always live close and if they do they might feel uncomfortable talking about your cancer experience. You may notice friends start treating you differently or even stop being present in your life. Sometimes even when you are surrounded by people who love you, you still feel alone and like no one truly understands what you are going through. These feelings of loneliness can be even more profound when you are single or establishing your life in a new city. Join this session to connect with other AYAs that do really understand the isolation you are experiencing.