BREVARD COUNTY — Each year, as thousands of people get diagnosed with breast cancer, if you happen to be of them, take heart and know you are not alone.

Complementary Cancer Care services opened its doors in Brevard County, filling a niche for programs dedicate to men and women diagnosed or caring for someone with cancer.

In the three years the center has been operating in the county, Complementary Cancer Care has expanded some of its services to provide more care for patients, caregivers and survivors.

This month, the center will offer virtual workshops to educate and empower patients.

The first series, a “cancer survivors workshop,” has several sessions scheduled via Zoom from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 11, 18, 25 and Nov. 1, 8, 15, 22.

The description for this series states, “This workshop is for people recently diagnosed or undergoing cancer treatment who want to explore and process the emotional impact of their cancer experience. We will offer practical information and demonstrate helpful coping methods and self-care practices that will educate and empower you to a strong recovery.”

Complementary Cancer Care also offers a similar workshop for survivors post-treatment.

The second series offered this month is a partnership with California-based Cancer CAREpoint “Coping with Side Effects” also via Zoom.

The next session “Cooking Class” with Stephanie Figiera is scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 12 at 6:30 p.m. and will celebrate fall with apple treat recipes.

The next two sessions feature “Cancer Treatment and Intimacy” with Julian Halvorsen on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 6:30 p.m. and “Osteoporosis and Bone Safe Movement” with Vicki Buckley on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 6:30 p.m.

Registration for these workshops are required and can be made by calling (321) 266-0564.

“I’ve talked to a lot of new clients and I’ve seen myself the gratitude they’ve expressed for having someone to turn to,” said Christina Tecson, social worker for Complementary Cancer Care. “They’re always appreciative to have someone like myself to talk to one-on-one who’s gone through cancer, and I have a sense of what they’re going through.”

Complementary Cancer Care provides mind body classes, support groups, creative expressions, and resources. While many programs are still being offered virtually, some in-person classes may return in the near future.

Each summer, the center hosts a cancer essay contest to give people an opportunity to share their story, whether they have experience with cancer themselves or as a caregiver.

Essay finalists get to see their writing posted on the center’s website, as well as join in festivities honoring National Cancer Survivors Month.

As a triple negative breast cancer survivor herself, Ms. Tecson knows the benefits of writing her own story down and sharing it with others.

“I was introduced to a nonprofit for breast cancer and ovarian cancer when I was newly diagnosed,” Ms. Tecson said, “and it made a big impact on me because I was able to meet other people going through breast cancer at the same time, some who shared the same oncologist.”

Going through cancer, she added, can often makes one feel a sense of losing control of life and own their health. The goal for Complementary Cancer Care is to have different types of programs that educate and empower cancer survivors and patients facing any stage of treatment/recovery.

To learn more about Complementary Cancer Care, visit https://compcancercare.org.

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