Seventh Annual Survivorship Series: Thriving After Cancer
By Mindy Dykes, community outreach coordinator, Children’s Cancer Research Fund
Cancer survivors, care givers and families attended the seventh annual Survivorship Conference on March 31, 2012, at the University of Minnesota. They came looking for answers to many topics about life after treatment, as well as to find comfort in being surrounded by fellow cancer survivors.
I had the honor of attending this important conference on behalf of Children’s Cancer Research Fund. We were welcomed by Masonic Cancer Center director Douglas Yee, M.D. We then heard from the director of the Division of Cancer Survivorship, Melissa Hudson, M.D. of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. She shared how research informs health care decisions for cancer survivors, current progress and future suggested steps in cancer survivorship research.
Attendees then had the opportunity to attend breakout sessions, which included staying healthy after cancer, exercise for cancer survivors, cognitive function and cancer therapy, sexual health and cancer survivorship and maintaining a healthy heart. The conference closed with a presentation by Ruth Bachman, cancer survivor and inspirational speaker. Her message “Growing through the Narrow Spot in the Hourglass” inspired attendees to transform the narrow spots in life’s journey into wisdom and joy.
I found the overall experience of the conference enlightening and purposeful. It was concerning to hear about the late effects of treatment so obvious in some but very uplifting to see survivors coming together, discovering how to be advocates for their personal well-being and learning how to advance the future of cancer survivorship.
To learn more about how to thrive after cancer, visit Cancer.UMN.edu/GrowingUpAfterCancer