By Jane Keller Gordon, Contributing Writer
Southborough – In 2011, Joanne Sullivan, herself a cancer survivor, founded a local support group, CaSfA (Cancer Support for All). Now, almost 100 members–cancer survivors, friends, family, and caregivers–benefit from her detailed newsletters, supportive lunch gatherings, and informative meetings.
Members commented that CaSfA is proactive, forward-looking, and optimistic. Most of the participants are women, on different phases of their journeys, but the group is all-inclusive.
CaSfA will host a workshop, open to the public, “New Approaches to the Stress of Cancer: How to Manage Stress, Feel Better More Often, and Rediscover Moments of Joy,” on Saturday, April 29, from 9-10:30 a.m., at the Pilgrim Congregational Church, 15 Common St., located near Southborough Town Hall.
Sullivan said, “Stress is a part of everyone’s life. But the diagnosis and treatment of cancer can cause significant, sometimes even debilitating, psychological stress. And this stress is not limited to the cancer patient; friends, family and professional caregivers feel the impact of cancer.”
She continued, “It’s important to learn how to cope with the stress of cancer in order to live better, healthier, and more joyful lives.”
Jon Wortmann, the minister at the Pilgrim Church, will lead the workshop.
A graduate of the Harvard Divinity School, he is also a coach, speaker, and author.
The seminar is based on his Amazon bestselling book, “Hijacked by Your Brain: How to Free Yourself When Stress Takes Over, which Wortmann co-authored with Dr Julian Ford.
About the workshop, Wortmann said, “I have loved and lost dozens of people to cancer and seen dozens of people heal in my 17 years in at Pilgrim Church. I will bring those stories to the workshop, and participants will leave with a deeper understanding of the practical things they can do to feel better as they do the hard work of healing and living a full life.”
“Cancer sucks. What the process of healing does to our brain is not often talked about in treatment communities and support groups. The good news is that new research on how our brain reacts to stress in the most painful human experiences can transform the way we approach our treatment, daily life, and personal relationships,” he added.
“In my book, “Hijacked by Your Brain,” we offer a new way to manage the inevitable emotional and physical symptoms that come with diagnosis and treatment. The research unveils what trauma survivors and new brain science can teach each of us about using our brains to be happier, calmer, and healthier.”
He added, “… this seminar will send you away with an awareness of why your brain creates stress, how to manage stress, and a plan for maximizing your brain health even in the worst circumstances.”
An RSVP to Joanne Sullivan at [email protected] is required if you wish to attend the workshop.