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2013 The Art of Living: Life Beyond Cancer Conference Agenda

aol2We are proud to provide the full agenda for the 2013 The Art of Living Conference – Life Beyond Cancer on November 2nd, taking place at the Quincy Marriott from 8am to 4pm. Join us for an incredible lineup of speakers that will support, inspire and inform you! Register today!

Registration: 8:00 am

Breakfast: 8:15 am

Welcome: 8:30 am

Pauline Alighieri, Executive Director, Friends of Mel Foundation

Opening Keynote:  8:45am

Good News! The Patient’s Voice is Now Being Heard – Findings from the Field
For the past 20 years Mitch Golant has been a leading researcher in the area of psychosocial care for cancer survivors.  Most recently he and others have focused on how feelings of distress impact people who have a cancer diagnosis or  have in some way found cancer coming into their lives.  Distress is a by-product of the depression, anxiety, lack of validation, or feelings of isolation and loss of control that can accompany a cancer diagnosis and/or participation in treatment and beyond. This distress can affect one’s quality of life in a number of ways – as they move into and through their cancer experience.  Mitch will share his findings and the valuable lessons learned from the research that he and others have conducted. The good news is that finally the voices of those who have been impacted by cancer are being acknowledged, valued, heard and responded to.
Mitch Golant, PhD – Senior VP Strategic Initiatives, Cancer Support Community

Workshops I:  9:45am – 11:00am

Post-Traumatic Growth: Finding Meaning after Cancer
Survivors often describe their cancer journey as life-altering—actually finding new meaning, purpose and value after their diagnosis and treatment. This workshop outlines the research and lessons learned from survivors about how to live a more fulfilling life after cancer.
Mitch Golant, PhD – Senior VP Strategic Initiatives, Cancer Support Community

Life after Cancer:  Mind/Body Self-Care Skills to Maximize Your Health
To survivors of cancer, health is not simply the absence of illness.  Survivors face all sorts of physical, psychological, social, behavioral and spiritual challenges.  It can be difficult to maintain optimism and resiliency.  In this workshop, you will practice numerous mind/body self-care techniques that will enable you to live more fully and take a more active role in maximizing your health.  Included are relaxation techniques, mindfulness, cognitive restructuring, resiliency, “news and goods”, and gratitude.  You will also understand the link between stress and health and recognize your stress warning signs.
Anne Webster, PhD – Massachusetts General Hospital

Couples Regaining Connection after Cancer:  From the Living Room to the Bedroom (PART I)
This is a 2-part workshop and group discussion focusing on the challenges that couples face when one partner is dealing with cancer.
Part I will be facilitated by two social workers who have over 20 years’ experience working with cancer patients and their families.  Participants will talk about issues around emotional intimacy:  communication, re-establishing balance in the relationship, re-defining roles and how to resume life as a couple while living with cancer and its’ aftermath.
Tim Cummings, MSW, LICSW – Program Director, Cancer Support Community – Massachusetts South Shore and Cynthia Medeiros, MSW, LICSW – Atlantic Counseling (Leading Part I)

A Fitness Plan for Cancer Survivors
Research reveals that regular exercise can reduce cancer recurrence and extend your life.  Exercise can help you recover energy, strength and flexibility after cancer treatments and regain the quality of life.  This program will help you learn about the components of fitness (strength training, cardiovascular training, and balance and flexibility training) necessary to design a program that is safe effective and fun.
Josie Gardiner – Zumba Educational Specialist

Creating a Legacy from Our Everyday Lives
Our needs to be remembered, to be known, and to express our values and love are universal. Many of us have prepared legal wills for distribution of our belongings but what about leaving a record of who we are for our loved ones. Too often we are only known by the roles we have played in our life. Through various exercises, we will explore our history, find ways to provide deeper meaning and purpose to our daily life and pass on our stories and values to future generations. A pen and paper are all you need!
Claire Willis, LICSW – Facing Cancer Together

The Cost of Cancer:  Exploring the Financial Concerns of Diagnosis for Survivors and Caregivers
This seminar will discuss the financial ramifications of cancer and address common concerns of both survivors and caregivers.  The topics covered will be employment discrimination, continuing care, disability, insurability, credit, and debt.
Curt Balch – Survivor and Financial Planner

 Workshops II:  11:15am – 12:30pm

iCanSir! – Finding Hope and Connection and Living without Fear!
You’ve survived…now what?  Are you ready to LIVE each day embracing the promise of your most desired and prize potential?  Are you ready to seize the moment and renew, recharge and reinvigorate your efforts to dream big and live BIG?  In this program, you will differentiate the things you have to do, the things you want to do, and the things you were born to do in a post-cancer mindset.   Everything you accomplish from here on will depend on two things:  1) How you see your situation now and 2) How you act in response to it.  Attendees will learn the “secrets” to living life without fear after cancer.  You WILL be changed by your time with this single father, popular author, and energetic speaker!
George Kansas – Motivational Speaker and Author of iCanSir

Goodbye Brain Fog!  Strategies to Help Get Your Thinking Back on Track
Cancer often causes changes in memory, word retrieval, planning, organization and the ability to multitask. These changes can be frustrating and life altering, affecting ones’ ability to function the way they used to. Fortunately, neurocognitive rehabilitation programs do exist.  This seminar will teach simple and effective, evidence-based techniques, to help you navigate your way back to thinking well.
Heather Palmer, PhD – Founder of Maximum Capacity

Couples Regaining Connection after Cancer:  From the Living Room to the Bedroom (PART 2)
This is a 2-part workshop and group discussion focusing on the challenges that couples face when one partner is dealing with cancer.
Part 2 will be led by Keith Laken, a cancer survivor and his wife Virginia.  This discussion will focus on physical intimacy:  body and self-image changes, fears and feelings, sexuality and sexual contact.  Participants will have an opportunity to share their own experiences and to learn from the collective “wisdom” of other group members and facilitators.
Virginia and Keith Laken – Co-authors:  Making Love Again: Hope for Couples Facing Loss of Sexual Intimacy

Eat Well Everyday:  Simple Ways to Maintain a Healthy Weight During and After Cancer Treatment to Promote Survivorship
Learn simple, everyday strategies to eat a healthy diet and manage  your weight with wellness.  Gain insight into how and why we crave certain foods and how to change eating habits toward healthy choices in a customized way that works for you.
Stacy Kennedy,MPH, RD, CSO, LON – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Russell Kennedy, Psy.D., MA – Wellness Guides

How Do You Get Back In To The Job Market After Your Cancer Diagnosis? 
You will learn how to develop a job search campaign, interviewing and networking techniques, job search tactics and trends, in addition to resume and cover letter writing.
Chris O’Neill – Executive Director at One Life at a Time

Lunch Keynote:  12:30 – 2:00pm

Remaining Human
Using stories from his own cancer experience, along with short clips from his film projects and lessons from other cancer survivors he has met, Mike will talk about what he has learned about remaining human in the midst of the incredible trial of cancer. Mike’s story illustrates that through the choices we make it is possible to live well with, through and beyond cancer.
Michael Lang – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor, CancerBRIDGES Survivor Network Coordinator, Tom Baker Cancer Centre/University of Calgary, Survive and Thrive Expeditions

Workshops III:  2:15pm – 3:30pm

Dating, Relationships and Self-Image:  Adjusting to Your Post-Cancer Body and Mind
Do I have to mention cancer on a first date? Will I ever be happy with my post-cancer body? What if my body doesn’t work like it used to? Join Tamika Felder, cervical cancer survivor and founder of Tamika and Friends, for an open discussion about all of these and other common issues and questions.
Tamika Felder – Founder of Tamika and Friends
Samantha Watson – Executive Director, The SAMFund

Goodbye Brain Fog!  Strategies to Help Get Your Thinking Back on Track
Cancer often causes changes in memory, word retrieval, planning, organization and the ability to multitask. These changes can be frustrating and life altering, affecting ones’ ability to function the way they used to. Fortunately, neurocognitive rehabilitation programs do exist.  This seminar will teach simple and effective, evidence-based techniques, to help you navigate your way back to thinking well.
Heather Palmer, PhD – Founder of Maximum Capacity

Ebb & Flow: Storytelling for Cancer Survivors
Many cancer survivors either don’t realize that they have an amazing story, or do not know how to share it to others. This session will use the short film “Ebb & Flow: Storytelling for Cancer Survivors” to explore the idea of storytelling as it relates to cancer. The goal of the session will be to empower and inspire cancer survivors to tell their stories so that the wisdom they have gained from their cancer journey is shared and their relationships stay intact and grow stronger.
Michael Lang – Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Survivor, CancerBRIDGES Survivor Network Coordinator, Tom Baker Cancer Centre/University of Calgary, Survive and Thrive Expeditions

Foods vs. Pills:  Supplements, Vitamins, Minerals and Herbs for Cancer Patients and Survivors
Learn all about popular vitamins and supplements to discover which may be healthy choices and those that could potentially be harmful.  Find out all the latest research on nutrients from foods vs. nutrients from pills and powders to discover the best way you can support a healthy immune system.
Stacy Kennedy,MPH, RD, CSO, LON – Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
Russell Kennedy, Psy.D., MA – Wellness Guides

Valleys: Partnering on the Journey
Cancer can overshadow everything, and because of this the needs of cancer caregivers are often overlooked. This session will use clips from the web series “Valleys” to take a closer look at the challenges facing caregivers. The goal of this session is to help caregivers discover their voice, learn how to reach out for support and navigate the cancer journey with their friends and family.
Bonnie Lang – Personal Trainer, Fitness Blogger and Caregiver

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