Survivorship has become the trendy word in cancer treatment. The number of survivors has increased from 3 million in 1971 to almost 12 million in 2008, according to National Cancer Institute estimates. More patients are surviving cancer, and living longer. With this in mind, two oncology clinical nurse specialists and a chemotherapy nurse at a community cancer center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, described the Celebration of Life Cancer Survivorship Evening Program they developed in a presentation at the 2014 NCONN Conference. Their goal was help patients with cancer learn about survivorship.
The Celebration of Life event is held annually in the spring. Approximately 150 patients and family members attend each year. Snacks and modest meals are available. Oncologists and nationally known motivational speakers entertain and educate attendees on such topics as “Cancer Therapy in the 21st Century: the Top Ten,” “Empowering Cancer Survivors through Exercise,” “The Right to Hope,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Crisis,” “Hope and Humor in the Face of Illness,” and “Support and Quality of Life for the Cancer Patient.”
Local vendors such as wig shops, the Minnesota Department of Health, Cancer Legal Line, drug companies, and others set up booths to provide information and resources for patients and their loved ones.
The goals of the speakers are to educate, entertain, empower and offer hope to the cancer survivors and their loved ones. Postevent program evaluations completed by patients and family members who attended have been consistently positive.
This poster presentation highlighted the development of the Celebration of Life events and focus on the importance of cancer survivorship.
Presenters: Shirley Kern, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN; Jean Pupkes, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, AOCN; Karen Boatright, RN, BSN.