Cancer:  Thriving & Surviving Program

A Free Program for People Impacted by Cancer for Emotional and Physical Well-Being

 Program Description

The Cancer Surviving & Thriving Program is a six-week workshop that helps people who are impacted by cancer to better manage their health and daily lives.  This evidence-based program covers both physical and emotional wellness. Resources, skills and action planning contribute to having a greater sense of control over living with or caring for someone with cancer.

It is the process in which the program is taught that makes it effective.  Developed by Stanford University, it is a licensed program that follows a standardized format proven to help people learn to better manage symptoms.  It is considered a best practice program in self-management. Classes are highly participative, where mutual support and success build the participant’s confidence in their ability to manage their health and maintain active and fulfilling lives. Subjects covered include:

  • Techniques to deal with frustration, fatigue, pain, isolation, poor sleep and living with uncertainty;
  • Exercises for regaining and maintaining flexibility and endurance;
  • Making decisions about treatment and complementary therapies;
  • Communicating effectively with family, friends and health professionals;
  • Nutrition; and
  • Setting priorities.

 Who Delivers the Program?

The Hunterdon-Mercer Chronic Disease Coalition is a licensed agency to offer this program until 2022 under a partnership agreement with the NJ Department of Human Services (Div. of Aging Services).   Two workshops are typically delivered per grant cycle:  one in Hunterdon County (Fall 2019) and one in Mercer County (Spring 2020).

What are the Benefits of Attending?

It has produced positive results for people who complete the program.  According to the NJ Dept. of Health, participants report the following benefits:

  • Improvements in physical activity, stamina and pain control;
  • Better communication with their health care providers; and
  • Reduced doctor and hospital visits.
  • Previous Coalition workshop participants stated: “I used the breathing when they put the dialysis needles in, thank you, it was very helpful.”  “Action plans give you a sense of purpose.”

Who Should Attend?

Adults living with and/or have been affected by cancer can attend.  Participants must be able to function in a group setting.  Caregivers/support people are welcome at the workshops and are encouraged to participate.  Workshops are led by 2 trained facilitators and are held in community settings (libraries, community centers, churches, housing units etc.) for 10-16 individuals. Participants share their successes, build a common source of support and develop personalized action plans.  The workshop builds confidence around managing health, staying active and enjoying quality of life.

 What is the Cost?

The Coalition provides it free to participants. Registration is required and each participant in the workshop receives a copy of the companion book, Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions, 4th Edition.

Contact:              Bonnie Petrauskas – Regional Coalition Coordinator

Hunterdon-Mercer Chronic Disease Coalition