Summer is officially here! Strengthen your connection to community this season with special support offerings, interactive roundtables and summer-themed sessions for those impacted by ovarian and other gynecologic cancers. And no need to leave the comfort of your climate-controlled home to attend — all meetings will be held online.
“This summer, we’re offering more choices than ever,” said Tracy Moore, OCRA’s Vice President of Support and Education. “Whether you are seeking information around your diagnosis or other pressing topics within our community, or are looking for fun ways to connect, I hope you join us for one or more of our Staying Connected sessions. We look forward to spending time with you.”
Find Support for Specific Diagnoses at Weekly Sessions
In addition to OCRA’s existing lineup of weekly offerings for individuals living with any type of gynecologic cancer, we are now holding special sessions focused on specific diagnoses. Led by our oncology social workers, these Staying Connected: Summer Series virtual gatherings enable patients and survivors to engage with others who share their diagnosis.
During June, which is now recognized as Uterine Cancer Awareness Month by OCRA and partner advocacy groups , we have been bringing together patients and survivors of endometrial cancers and uterine sarcomas. The final session will be held on Monday, June 26, at 3pm ET. July’s meetings will focus on rare gynecologic cancers, while August’s sessions will be open to those diagnosed with cervical cancer.
Meet Community at Monthly Roundtables
OCRA is also offering an opportunity for all in our community to come together this summer via special roundtables to discuss topics that are top of mind for many. Each online roundtable is focused on a singular topic and set up in a way that enables attendees to both get an overview and ask questions, thus encouraging different perspectives and tips to be shared.
OCRA’s oncology social workers are leading each of these special sessions, which comprise our Staying Connected: Summer Roundtable programming. During the June session that took place earlier this month, participants exchanged insights on communicating with healthcare teams. July’s session will tackle the topic of navigating difficult treatment options. August’s discussion will center on advanced care planning. All roundtables are open to gynecologic cancer patients, survivors, caregivers and anyone who wishes to participate.
Create Meaning Through Art, Conversation and Connection at Summer Crafting Sessions
No matter the weather outside, OCRA’s social work team is bound to bring the sunshine during this summer’s expressive arts sessions via bright and cheery crafting projects. Staying Connected: Express Yourself is a year-round virtual series that encourages creativity, exploration and sharing through a therapeutic art activity and discussion facilitated by our oncology social workers.
Each monthly Express Yourself meetup has a specific theme that ties in with a craft project for all skill levels. Once participants register, they are sent art supplies for the project in advance. June’s theme was Sands of Time, with a discussion prompt of hopes and dreams for summer. Participants came away with a sweet and summery memento — sand art in a heart-shaped bottle.
Though supplies arrive ahead of the session and the general theme is announced beforehand, the exact activity is never revealed until the actual day it takes place, so that attendees can look forward to the surprise reveal. Tracy shared this hint for the art project that will take place during July’s session, which features a theme of Hidden Messages of Hope: “It may remind you of carefree summer days — and give you hope for the future.”
Bond with Fellow Readers at Book Club
Another year-round series that is pulling in some seasonal themes this summer is OCRA’s Staying Connected: Book Club. Just launched this year at the start of spring, these monthly online gatherings offer a space to reflect, discuss and connect around a shared reading. The book selection is announced prior to each meetup and mailed out to participants once they sign up for the session.
June’s registrants received an extra surprise along with their book — summer hats with teal bands and wide brims to go along with this month’s beach read, “The Perfect Couple” by Elin Hilderbrand. July’s selection is soon to be announced so stay tuned on social media — or check out our Staying Connected section, which also offers information about all of our current support series.
Both Express Yourself and Book Club will include two sessions in July: one open to all gynecologic cancer patients and survivors, and one dedicated to young adults.