October Discussion Series:
Focus on Caregivers

Tuesdays from 5:00 - 6:30 pm ET

Navigating the Caregiver Role

Facilitator: Sarah Paul, LCSW, OSW-C

Tuesday, October 5

When thrust into a caretaking role after the diagnosis of a loved one, there are a lot of new demands and responsibilities for you to manage…and there’s not always a clear path of how to navigate the new role. From practical concerns like tracking medications and appointments, to personal concerns like how to adjust your relationship to your patient and establish healthy boundaries (not to mention taking care of your own personal or professional responsibilities!), it can be a big learning curve. Join this open discussion with other AYA cancer caregivers to share best practices and strategies about settling into your role as a caregiver.

Adapting to a Changing Relationship

Facilitator: Alyson Erardy, LMSW

Tuesday, October 12

Some caregiving challenges are universal, while others are specific to your relationship type. As you settle into the new roles of “patient” and “caregiver,” there are bound to be effects on your core relationship. As a parent to an AYA patient, you have to balance your child’s growing independence with their need for care. As a romantic partner, you have to keep a spark alive while dealing with the gritty realities of treatment. Siblings, friends, and other caregiver relationships all have their own complexities. Join this open conversation to dig into and explore the unique challenges of your caregiver relationship with others that understand.

Specific Caregiving Challenges: Caring for Metastatic Patients and Caregiving as a Survivor

Facilitators: Sarah Paul, LCSW, OSW-C and Marlee Kiel, LCSW

Tuesday, October 19

This week will be a split focus between two specific caregiving communities: those caring for metastatic AYA patients and survivors turned caregivers.

While for many, the intensity of a caregiving experience is a finite time during treatment, for caregivers of metastatic or chronic patients, the caregiving never ends. This conversation with other metastatic caregivers will create an opportunity for you to build community and resilience for caregiving in the long-term.

For cancer survivors that become caregivers to their loved ones, the caregiving experience can be especially complicated. It might be difficult to separate your experience from theirs, or it might intensify your own fear of recurrence. How do you care for your patient, while dealing with your own triggers or lasting effects from treatment? This discussion will provide space for survivors to learn from each other as you navigate a new side of the cancer experience.

Caring for the Caregiver

Facilitator: Mary Hanley, LMSW

Tuesday, October 26

You’ve heard it a million times, but it’s still true: you have to put on your own oxygen mask before helping anyone else. It can feel impossible to prioritize your own needs while caring for an AYA with cancer, but if you aren’t taking care of yourself, you won’t be able to properly care for your patient. In this discussion, share and learn self care strategies to help you avoid burnout, navigate your work/life balance, and protect your mental health as a caregiver.

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING DISCUSSION SESSION POLICIES BEFORE YOU REGISTER:

1) Attendance at each session will be capped at 25 participants, with priority to those who register for multiple sessions. Registration does not guarantee a spot; you may be placed on a wait list. We will follow up via email to confirm your registration or your spot on the waitlist, and links to each session will be sent one week in advance.

2) If you are no longer able to attend a session, email programs@stupidcancer.org to cancel as soon as possible so we can admit someone on the waitlist. Any “no shows” without notice will forfeit their spot at all future sessions in the series.

3) Due to the sensitive nature of the Discussion Series, you must log into sessions on time, with video, from a quiet, private space. We strongly encourage you to log on using a computer or a tablet, rather than a phone.

3a. Late arrivals will not be admitted more than 10 minutes after the session start time. Please note that all times are listed in Eastern Time.

3b. Attendees must participate with video for the full session. If you are not comfortable turning on your camera, you will be asked to leave the session. 

3c. If you are in a shared space, headphones are required for the full 90 minutes session to maintain confidentiality and show respect for fellow participants.

4) All participants agree to respect and follow the Stupid Cancer Digital Programs Code of Conduct, which can be found here: stpdcn.cr/coc

Questions? Email programs@stupidcancer.org.