By Sonia Hazan

Resource Room Offers Free Items to Patients

Hope & Cope provides patients of the Jewish General Hospital with many practical resources: blankets, wigs, head coverings, mastectomy bras and prostheses. In 2018, Hope & Cope gave out close to 1600 of these resources!

The resource room is located on the 7th floor of Pavilion E and there is no need to make an appointment. The office volunteers or staff are always helpful and ready to tell patients about the wonderful programs offered at the Wellness Centre.

Blankets are offered to newcomers when they start their chemotherapy sessions and also to hospitalized patients in Pavilion K. Currently, the bulk of these blankets are being provided by the Montérégie West Community Network’s Knitting Club as well as Edna Janco and Lisolette Ivry. A large donation of fleece blankets was recently donated by Camelot fabrics. Some very grateful patients also share their craftsmanship as donations, while blankets made by a group of Hope & Cope volunteers with a talent for knitting are sold to raise funds for our organization.

We are also fortunate to carry some of the best wigs in town, and when patients get fitted with them, they leave taller with a straighter back and a “look at me” attitude! A small group of knitters with Knitted Knockers Canada make another type of breast prosthesis, following a specific pattern – these are made of cotton, are pretty and light, and comfortable to wear.We also received a great donation of comfy socks for hospitalized patients on the Pavilion K Oncology Unit. Some of these socks are even anti-skid! Talk about smiles on the patients’ faces!

Should you know of anyone who enjoys knitting, has wool to donate or if you have contacts for larger donations, please call Lora Tombari, Office Coordinator, at 514 340-8222, ext. 25534, ltombari@jgh.mcgill.ca

Coping Skills Workshops Empower Patients

Cancer patients have to deal with many physical and emotional effects of cancer. To help them through their journey, Hope & Cope offers coping skills workshops called Think Smart, Live Well. Led by volunteers, these are held once a month, at the Wellness Centre, both in English and French, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a light lunch served.

This workshop covers a range of tools and strategies detailed in a book entitled Mastering the Art of Coping in Good Times and Bad. Written by Linda Edgar, R.N., Ph.D., her approach is based on research studies she had conducted at the Jewish General Hospital, affiliated with McGill University. The book is a useful guide through different methods of relieving stress such as mindfulness, reframing negative thoughts, meditation and communication.

Participants often start the session with a heavy heart and many questions, but seem to shed some of their burdens as they realize that they can learn to be in control of their emotions and reactions, even when faced with an uncontrollable situation. The book is offered to participants to take home and go through the readings and exercises at their own pace.

The benefits of good coping are varied: they make life easier, less stressful and help each of us through difficult times! As volunteers who strive to add well-being to the patients encountered on a daily basis, this workshop is worth recommending!  Session dates as well as registration details are listed on the Calendar of Activities on the Hope & Cope website: https://www.hopeandcope.ca/events-activities/