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Roswell Park workshop gives cancer survivors tools to thrive in 'new normal'

An estimated 48,000 cancer patients and survivors live in Erie County, among 128,000 in the region.

Hundreds of them have an opportunity to spend part of Saturday learning from experts, as well as others in their shoes, when Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center presents its third annual “Chapter 2: A Cancer Survivor’s Workshop for Living Your Best Life.”

“A lot of people a need information about how to get the most out of life post-cancer,” said Mary Reid, director of cancer screening and survivorship at Roswell. “We don’t care where people are treated, we want them to have it going forward.”

The workshop runs from 7:30 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. in the cancer center Research Studies Building, at Elm and Carlton streets. Parking in the nearby ramp is free to participants.

Chapter 2 is designed to give those in treatment, and afterward, more tools to adjust emotionally, spiritually and physically to a “new normal” after treatment that can include radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, targeted therapy and immunotherapy.

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Cancer survivor Dan Shapiro, vice dean for faculty and administrative affairs at the Penn State College of Medicine, will give the keynote address, entitled “A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to Chemo.” Shapiro, a psychologist, has written three books about his personal experience with cancer treatment in his 20s, as well as survivorship, including the patient-physician relationship and how institutions can better support patients and caregivers.

“He really gives insight into how you rebuild your life after cancer,” Reid said.

The workshop starts with breakfast, followed at 8 a.m. by an optional outdoor yoga class. During the afternoon, participants will choose four breakout sessions, including the chance to try yoga, meditation and reiki. Other topics include caregiving, separating nutritional facts from fiction, feeling beautiful after cancer, medical marijuana, sexuality and intimacy, managing financial stress and the young adult cancer experience (for those ages 18-39).

Cost of the workshop is $20 and includes healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks. Register at roswellpark.org/chapter2, including which breakout sessions to attend. You also can register on-site Saturday morning.

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email: refresh@buffnews.com

Twitter: @BNrefresh@ScottBScanlon

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