The wisdom of the lived experience
Our cancer-experienced volunteers have been there. They know what you’re going through and will meet you wherever you are in your stage of illness, whatever your state of mind, offering that all important connection and understanding that can make the experience of cancer much less frightening and overwhelming.
Cancer can be a lonely experience for patients and their loved ones. Joining a support group at the Wellness Centre is a very effective way to connect with other people who understand what you are going through. Our groups are led by trained facilitators, under the guidance of a Hope & Cope professional. You can share your story or just listen to others. Either way, you will develop new strategies for coping with the challenges of cancer – and you may just make new friends in the process. At the Wellness Centre, we offer groups such as:
- Breast cancer (for newly diagnosed)
- “Breast Friends” (for metastatic cancer)
- Brain tumours
- Colorectal cancer
- Carcinoid-Neuroendocrine (CNET)
- French support group (for patients)
- Men’s Club
- Multiple myeloma
- Patients group
- Caregivers group
- Post-treatment group
- Young ostomy group
Interested? Check our calendar for meeting times and register by calling 514 340-3616 or 514 340-8222, ext. 25531.
One-to-one peer support
If you’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, you probably have many questions and concerns. Not everyone feels comfortable opening up in a support group setting. If you would like more personalized attention, Hope & Cope can provide you with one-to-one peer support. Our peer mentoring team consists of 100 cancer-experienced volunteers who speak to newly diagnosed patients and/or their caregivers over the phone, answering their questions, providing support, and when appropriate, sharing their own stories. Our Survivorship Program Coordinator will do her best to match you with a volunteer who is of a similar age, gender and, where possible, can speak to you in your native language. If you are interested in being matched with a peer mentor, please call 514 340-8222, ext. 25531.
Easing the wait
Treatments can be stressful. There’s the long wait to see the doctor. There are line-ups for diagnostic tests. There are uncomfortable, sometimes painful procedures. And often, there is anxiety. Hope & Cope volunteers who are part of our Oncology Team and our Radiotherapy Team help staff with numerous tasks essential to the smooth functioning of the cancer clinics at the Jewish General Hospital’s Segal Cancer Centre, while offering a calm, compassionate, supportive presence for patients and their caregivers. If, at any point in your treatment, you need to be hospitalized for a few days or a few weeks, volunteers with our Hospital Visiting Team will be happy to pay you a visit. Easy to identify in their blue coats and easy to talk to, our clinic and hospital visiting volunteers will be more than happy to offer you support. They can also give you more information about Hope & Cope so that you can be matched with the right program for your needs.
Making the most of each moment
Medical advances and better care have led to longer lifespans for many people with cancer. However, sometimes the disease progresses to the point where a cure is no longer viable. The goal of palliative care is to manage the symptoms of illness by reducing pain and discomfort. Care is focused on meeting the physical, spiritual and emotional needs of patients and their families. Hope & Cope’s Palliative Care team consists of specially trained volunteers who offer compassionate care centred on the whole person. Special attention is given to family members as well. Our volunteers are sensitive to and respectful of cultural and religious beliefs, and they work very closely with the palliative care staff at the Jewish General Hospital. Volunteers are available 7 days a week and service is offered in English, French and a multitude of other languages. To contact our Palliative Care Coordinator, please call 514 340-8222, ext. 23985.
Helping you through the grieving process
“I don’t have anyone to talk to.”
“People are telling me that it’s time to move on but I don’t feel ready.”
If you are coping with the death of a loved one from cancer and are looking for a safe and confidential place to express your grief and learn coping strategies, we can help. Our Bereavement service includes twice-monthly Mourning Cafés (drop-in) on Wednesday evenings, peer matching by phone with a volunteer who understands the grief process, and our unique Mourning Walks. These invigorating walks take place weekly on beautiful Mount Royal, and while sharing is encouraged and often happens naturally, no one is forced to talk. Participants often find that exercising together in the fresh air can be a consolation in and of itself. Further support is provided by our Bereavement Program Coordinator, who can be reached at 514-340-8222, ext. 25531.
Additional on-line resources for coping with grief can be found here:
The Breast Friends Support Group is a place where you can laugh, cry, share information and be with people who really understand what you’re going through.
I have finished my chemo since I last saw you and in many ways, it is hard to believe that 11 months of treatment have passed. I am slowly starting to reclaim my life (2nd chance) and am grateful for the chance. Please extend my hello to all the genlemen in the group.
Unless someone has experienced the loss of a dear one to cancer, they will never know the true emotions of those who have. Fortunately, with Hope & Cope, we have people who have gone through what we are going through and they are there for us with their understanding, support and guidance.