As a charity supporting people living with cancer daily, Cancer Care West is witnessing first-hand the toll the pandemic is taking on cancer patients and their families.
The stress of needing to isolate to keep safe is compounded by the need to access consultations, diagnostic tests, scans, treatments and therapies. Critical visits to oncology specialists are often done online and attendance to support groups and other therapies are cancelled or postponed. More importantly the networks of family and friends who would normally provide support are now unable to do so. All of this is leaving patients more isolated, scared and extremely anxious about their condition.
While the charity has been providing individual support sessions online they also recognize the need for a much broader approach to helping all those who are affected and in need of support. As a result, they have developed a new online seminar (webinar ) specifically to highlight the struggles of dealing with cancer during the pandemic and providing practical tips and techniques for how to best cope with them. Facilitated by Dr. Helen Greally, Prinicpal Clinical Psychologist and Ms. Elaine Doyle, Senior Oncology Nurse, the webinar will last 90 minutes with the last 30 minutes dedicated to a Q&A session.
“The webinar is designed to provide practical tips and advice about coping with cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Topics covered will include coping with delayed scans and treatments, dealing with side effects, managing isolation and building resilience.
“The importance of relationships with family and friends will also be highlighted with recommendations on how patients can build their support networks virtually or personally while under COVID restrictions. Many patients benefit greatly by knowing they are not alone in their fears and concerns. We hope this event will be an effective way to give concrete advice and recommendations which will help alleviate their distress,” Dr. Helen Greally, Director of Psychology and Cancer Support Services, Cancer Care West Galway commented.
The webinar will initially be broadcast on March 24 at 2.30pm. Anyone interested in attending can register by calling Cancer Care West on 091 540 040 or sending an email to [email protected].
All those registered will receive a Zoom link to the webinar which will allow them to watch the presentations and to chat online to the presenters.
Anyone who has been diagnosed with cancer whether they are about to, are currently or have previously received treatment are encouraged to join the discussion.
Families and friends who are supporting those suffering with cancer may also benefit and are welcome to join. The webinar is available to all free of charge.