Susan’s Story of Help and Hope

August 14, 2014

The family at Henri’s 5th birthday party

Susan faced many challenges after her husband Chris was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. One of the greatest was figuring out the best way to talk about cancer with their five-year-old son Henri.

“Henri knows that something is wrong and I’m sure he knows more than he is able to articulate. He knows that daddy is sick,” shares Susan.

After searching online, Susan called CancerCare in search of resources to help Henri understand and cope. An oncology social worker suggested The Comfort Pillow Activity to help the family communicate with one another and feel more comfortable talking about cancer. The Activity includes a pillow that can be customized and designed to bring a child comfort, as well as a booklet and additional resources that help to initiate therapeutic conversations.

“CancerCare and their resources have been so helpful. Chris and Henri sat on the floor together, spread out all of the kit materials and colored on the pillow. It was a really great exercise for Chris – a really special bonding moment and it’s something they’ll always have together.”

The pillow features Henri’s favorite things including superheroes, rainbows, planets and rocket ships. “Henri sleeps with the pillow every night. He traced hearts on one side and wrote ‘Henri, Dad and Mom’ in each of the hearts.”

Sue feels the activity has brought the family closer and has allowed them to have difficult conversations about cancer. “When Chris has to leave for chemotherapy, he is oftentimes gone before Henri wakes up and doesn’t return until after Henri goes to bed. On those days, Henri can pull out the pillow and know that he is loved and can read the special message on an enclosed heart from his dad.”



Online Support Groups for People Coping with Cancer

July 26, 2012

CancerCare’s free online support groups connect you with others in a similar situation, helping you find support no matter where you live. Our online support groups are led by professional oncology social workers and are password-protected. Once members complete our registration process, they can participate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

We offer over 20 different support groups targeting specific populations, such as people in treatment for cancer, people who are post-treatment, caregivers, and people who have lost a loved one.

A few support groups that are actively seeking new members include our Brain Tumor Caregiver Support Group, Metastatic Breast Cancer Patient Support Group, and People Who Have Lost A Loved One Support Group.

Even if we don’t currently offer a group for your specific diagnosis, we do offer general groups for men with cancer and women with cancer.

All support groups are completely free of charge, but registration is requiredLearn more.

Free Support Groups for People Affected by Cancer

January 12, 2012

CancerCare offers free support groups for anyone affected by cancer, including people with cancer, their caregivers, friends and loved ones, and the bereaved.

A cancer diagnosis can bring many difficult emotions, including fear, anxiety, and a feeling of isolation. Support groups connect you with others in a similar situation who may relate to what you are experiencing.

We offer diagnosis-specific support groups, such as a group for people affected by colorectal cancer, as well as specialized support groups, including groups for men with cancer, young adults with cancer, and parents of children with cancer.

CancerCare’s support groups are led by professional oncology social workers, and are available online, over the telephone, and face-to-face in our offices in New York City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Connecticut. To learn more about CancerCare‘s telephone and face-to-face support groups or to register, call 800‑813‑HOPE (4673).

Online support groups are password-protected, and members must go through a registration process. After completing the registration process, members can participate 24 hours, 7 days a week. New online support groups will be offered starting February 1.

View all of CancerCare’s free support groups.

Support Groups for Men with Cancer

September 30, 2011

A cancer diagnosis can have a profound impact on a man’s sense of identity and purpose in life, especially if he cannot work during or after his treatment  or has to reduce the hours he works, notes a new article on the Cancer and Careers website (

CancerCare Director of Clinical Services William Goeren, LCSW-R observes that many men who are diagnosed with cancer have a difficult time coping with their reduced income and its emotional and financial impact on their family.  Men with cancer are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with depression than women with cancer and the article offers tips for coping with these feelings.

Read the article.

CancerCare offers specialized services for men who are coping with cancer, including online, telephone, or face-to-face support groups (available in our New York City office).

Register to participate in a men’s cancers support group.

Learn More About CancerCare’s Specialized Services for Men, Women, Children, and Families

September 1, 2011

September is the national awareness month for many different cancer diagnoses:


Explore CancerCare’s leukemia resource page to see the free services we offer for people affected by leukemia, which include a recent revision of a three-part fact sheet series on coping with chronic mylogenous leukemia.


Our free services include an upcoming Connect Education Workshop series on living with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. The first workshop will take place Wednesday, September 14 at 1:30pm EST. Register for the workshop.

Multiple Myeloma

CancerCare’s free resources include our new Connect booklet, Advances in the Treatment for Multiple Myeloma. If you have been diagnosed with leukemia, lymphoma, or multiple myeloma, you may wish to participate in a free support group for people affected by blood cancers. Learn more and register for this support group.

Prostate Cancer

Register for our upcoming Connect Education Workshop, “Caring for Your Bones When You Have Prostate Cancer” on September 16 at 1:30pm EST.

Ovarian Cancer

Read our new Connect Booklet, Medical Update on Ovarian Cancer. We’ve partnered with L’Oréal Paris and Ovarian Cancer Research Fund on a dedicated telephone counseling and referral service for women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. To speak with a professional oncology social worker, call 1‑877‑OV‑HOPE‑1 (1‑877‑684‑6731).

Gynecologic Cancers

Learn more and register for an online support group for people affected by gynecologic cancers.

Thyroid Cancer

Listen to our podcast, “Treatment Update on Thyroid Cancer.”

Childhood Cancers

Learn more about CancerCare’s free services for children diagnosed with cancer. CancerCare also helps children who have a parent, sibling, or other loved one facing cancer. Read our e-booklet, Helping Children When a Family Member has Cancer. 


New Treatment for Advanced Prostate Cancer

May 3, 2011

This past Friday’s Connect Education Workshop, What’s New in Metastatic Prostate Cancer, coincided with the FDA’s approval of a new treatment for advanced prostate cancer.

Zytiga, a pill that decreases the production of a hormone that stimulates cancer cells to grow, prolonged the lives of men with late-stage prostate cancer who had received prior treatments and had few available therapeutic options. Listen to the workshop.

Learn more about Zytiga.

CancerCare offers free support services for people affected by prostate cancer, including an online support group for men affected by cancer. We are also recruiting participants for a face-to-face men’s cancers support group. Register and learn more about CancerCare’s free support groups.

Men who are affected by prostate cancer may also be eligible to receive up to $5,000 per year in co-payment assistance through the CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation. Learn more.

Have a Question About Men’s Cancers? Ask CancerCare

April 8, 2011

Men’s cancers are the focus of April’s “Ask CancerCare,” a column that provides answers to your questions from our experts.

CancerCare professional oncology social worker William Goeren, LCSW-R, is this month’s expert. Goeren recently responded to a question about treatment side effects and emotional issues experienced by a man affected by breast cancer —read his response.

Submit your own question for the chance to have it answered in this column. All posts are completely anonymous.

Online Support Groups Now Recruiting Participants

February 3, 2011

CancerCare is currently recruiting participants for its online support groups.

Support groups connect people in similar situations and provide an environment in which they can share their feelings and build a community of support.

CancerCare‘s online support groups enable individual participants to communicate via a password-protected message board that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Each support group is active for a 14-week period and each is moderated by a professional oncology social worker, who provides guidance, resources and reliable information to the participants.

CancerCare currently offers 25 different support groups online. Each is targeted to a specific population, such as people undergoing treatment for cancer, cancer survivors, caregivers and the bereaved.  Groups now recruiting include:

  • Triple negative breast cancer patients
  • Caregivers of loved ones with lung cancer
  • Men with cancer
  • Young adult caregivers of spouses and partners

 All support groups are completely free of charge, but registration is requiredLearn more.

Co-Payment Assistance is Available for People Facing Prostate Cancer

January 5, 2011

The CancerCare Co-Payment Assistance Foundation provides up to $5,000 per year in co-payment assistance to people facing prostate cancer.  Visit to learn how to apply, and to see a list of covered medications.

Read about “game-changing” research in prostate cancer treatment in CancerCare’s new booklet, Your Guide to the Latest Cancer Research and Treatments.  You can order free copies of the booklet, along with publications such as Living with Metastatic Prostate Cancer and Caring for Your Bones When You Have Prostate Cancer.

Learn more about CancerCare’s free support services for people affected by prostate cancer.

Men Affected by Cancer Connect Through Support Group

September 21, 2010

This September, CancerCare launched a new, professionally led support group in New York City for men, focusing on “Sexual Health After Cancer.” The group, led by CancerCare Men’s Cancers Program Director Bill Goeren, LCSW-R, ACSW, brought together 20 participants, who shared their concerns and insights about intimacy and sexual health during and after cancer treatment.

While the majority of participants were prostate cancer survivors, the group also included men diagnosed with myeloma, head and neck cancer, colon cancer, and throat cancer.

Though their experiences were unique, a common thread binding the men in the group was their anxiety and uncertainty about the impact of their cancer and treatment on their sexuality, noted Goeren. 

“Men can often be hesitant to discuss their emotions and feelings,” he said.  “Once the ice was broken, though, the group really opened up and asked the questions they wanted to ask,” such as whether they would be able to continue or resume physical intimacy with their partner. The men also shared how they were affected emotionally by the temporary or permanent loss of sexual function due to their illness and treatment, and how that loss redefined their intimate relationships.

CancerCare will offer its professionally moderated men’s cancers support group throughout the fall and winter. Future discussion topics will include exercise and nutrition, work and careers, and how to talk to your children about cancer.

For more information about CancerCare’s programs for men affected by cancer, contact Goeren at 212-712-6141 or email