Dec 22, 2019 Coping With Cancer

A free program offers support to anyone affected by a cancer diagnosis.

Cancer patients have access to a unique program: the Cancer Support Community (CSC), which is available at Monmouth Medical Center Southern Campus (MMCSC) and Monmouth Medical Center. The program offers support, education, hope and wellness activities for patients, family members, friends and children. CSC is a global network of affiliates that was launched at MMCSC in 2015 and is conveniently located in a house at 199 Prospect Street in Lakewood, across from the hospital.

The CSC gathering areas include a living room, dining room, kitchen, yoga/exercise room and a children’s room. The latest additions include a room where members can choose from a variety of head coverings and beauty accessories in a comfortable setting and an outdoor labyrinth, where members are invited to walk, meditate and reflect in a garden setting.

Programs help patients learn to manage symptoms, reduce stress, become more active and transition to survivorship. There are support groups and educational programs covering a variety of topics, including healthy lifestyle choices and health and wellness practices, such as yoga, meditation and exercise. The Circle of Caring program was developed to address the needs of children affected by their loved one’s diagnosis. With the Open to Options program, trained facilitators assist members in formulating questions for their physicians.

An innovative coping strategy

Another innovative offering is sand tray therapy, which enables patients and family members to express their feelings in nonverbal ways. “It’s another resource for members to process their diagnosis and treatment journey,” says Joan Hogan, MSW, LCSW, OSW-C, Program Director and licensed clinical social worker.

To learn more about the Cancer Support Community, call 732.923.6090