Optimizing the quality of life for all people living with cancer.
Cancer Lifeline Support Groups & Classes
Now Online through December

Registration is open for Fall Programs. All classes and support groups are FREE for patients, survivors, and caregivers. Check out our website for current program listings.

Here is a selection of featured programs for the next several weeks.

Creative Outlets for Families with Children & Adolescents whose Parent Has Cancer
For parents living with cancer and their children and young adolescents ages 6-12. Workshops focused on family rituals, bonds, and communication while coping with a diagnosis in the family. For more information, please email Pamela Krueger or call 206-832-1271.

COVID-19 & Cancer: Managing Isolation, sponsored by Overlake Medical Center - Nov 4, 10 - 11 am

Vital Moves, sponsored by UW Medical Center - Northwest, Thursdays, Sept. 10 - Oct 22, 5:30 - 6:30 pm

COVID-19 & Cancer: Addressing Concerns Regarding The Treatment of Oncology Patients, sponsored by UW Medical Center - Northwest, Sept. 15, 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Chair Yoga, sponsored by Valley Medical Center, Saturdays, Sept. 12 - Oct 24, 1 - 2 pm

Energizing Foods, sponsored by Valley Medical Center, Sept. 22, 12:30 - 2:00 pm

Gentle Exercise - Stretch & Strength, sponsored by Virginia Mason Cancer Institute - Seattle, Monday, Sept. 14 - Oct 19, 1:30 - 2:30 pm

Understanding Medicare, sponsored by Virginia Mason Cancer Institute - Seattle, Sept. 9, 2 - 3 pm

COVID-19 & Cancer - Coping with Stress, sponsored by Virginia Mason Cancer Institute - Federal Way, Sept. 14, 11 am - 12 pm

Vital Moves, sponsored by EvergreenHealth, Mondays, Sept. 14 - Oct. 26, 12- 1 pm

Writing Practices to Limit Anxiety, sponsored by EvergreenHealth, Sept. 2, 6:30 - 7:30 pm

Writing for the Moment, Thursdays, Sept. 17 - Nov. 12, 1 - 3 pm

Open Studio Process - Tuesdays, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm: Sept. 8, Oct.13, Nov. 10, Dec. 8;

Open Studio Process - Tuesdays, 1 - 4 pm: Sept. 22, Oct. 22, Nov. 24

Instructions on how to access online programs are provided on each class and support group page on our website.

Please continue to visit our website for updates about Cancer Lifeline programs and services and other offerings we have moved to an online format. Feel free to share the information.
Cancer in the Time of Covid: Resilience is key
As if living with a cancer diagnosis wasn’t enough...

When the pandemic hit and created yet another massive shift in our day-to-day lives, it didn’t take long for Cancer Lifeline to jump into action and quickly figure out how to provide our clients with the programs and services they needed now more than ever. Starting in mid-March, Cancer Lifeline’s support groups, classes, and presentations went online! It was a steep learning curve for all of us, but it has proven to be a HUGE success.

While we are all missing the connections inherent in face-to-face contact, an amazing thing has also happened. Cancer Lifeline’s outstanding and robust programming is reaching MORE people than ever! 

On this blog we will dive a little deeper into some of those reactions we may be experiencing and discuss strategies to help deal with them. Next time, we will talk more in depth about the double whammy of imposed isolation, resulting from cancer and COVID-19.
Spotlight: Overlake Medical Center
A Conversation with Melicent Smith
How long have you been with Overlake and what is your title?
I have worked at Overlake Hospital for 18 years. I am a clinical dietitian in the cancer center and I also support patient dining services assisting with menu planning for Season’s Dining room service. I first started facilitating with Cancer Lifeline near two years ago. I have noticed an increase in class variety as well as the option to attend classes online. Patients have so many choices of great things they can learn about!

How important is Cancer Lifeline to the local cancer community? Cancer Lifeline offers an essential service to the local cancer community. Getting information and education to the patients is very empowering to them. Providing support groups and much needed community. Cancer Lifeline allows us to increase what we can offer the patients here at Overlake.

How do Overlake patients learn about Cancer Lifeline?   Patients at Overlake may learn about Cancer Lifeline a number of ways – clinicians and support staff, brochures and fliers, on Overlake’s website or in Overlake’s newletter Healthy Outlook.

What observations do you have about the benefits of CL programs?  Patients appreciate having the additional support and resources that are specific to cancer patients. This can be comforting to know the class will be specific to their needs.

Catching up with Reetu Ghumann
What is your profession and when did you first learn about Cancer Lifeline? I am a Supervisor with the National Cancer Institute's Cancer Information Service (CIS) housed at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I had the pleasure to learn about Cancer Lifeline through my colleagues at work who have had a long time affiliation with CL. Susan Drummond, a fellow board member shared with me about a wonderful local organization doing important work to support cancer patients and their families. She had me hooked and I knew I had to get involved!
What do you see as the benefits of our work in the local cancer community? While a cancer diagnosis is an incredibly personal journey, it is one that requires community. Whether that be the community of healthcare staff such as oncologists, nurses, and social workers or the community of family and friends that support the patient. CL plays a unique role to help cancer patients stay in treatment and receive the care they need by providing resources through the Patient Financial Assistance Fund or meet the community's needs through Emotional Support Programs. This relationship has been long standing and strengthens our community as a place for people to access resources in their area. The current times have clearly shown us the importance of community and how when we come together we can be stronger and more resilient. Cancer patients are juggling so much. Receiving treatment, managing appointments, work, and living life. It is so important that they know their community stands behind them to support them in their time of need. 
What advice do you have for cancer patients and their loved ones during this time of Covid-19? Honestly, my advice is for all of us to follow the compassion and resolve that cancer patients in our community show us each and every day. Cancer didn't press pause during Covid-19 and neither should you. Covid-19 continues to affect all of our realities, however it presents additional challenges for cancer patients and their families. Patients aren't only being affected by a cancer diagnosis, but the collective trauma and uncertainty of the ongoing pandemic. This strength is heroic and admirable. This is why supporting Cancer Lifeline is so meaningful to me. These steps can help us keep our most vulnerable populations safe. For patients and families during this time it is more important now than ever to follow precautions outlined by their healthcare team and to take measures to keep themselves safe. CL virtual resources are at your disposal and your community is thinking of you. 

Cancer Lifeline Facilitators Retreat
A gathering of the majority of our support group facilitators was held on July 22. This group photo was taken to commemorate the event.
We spent the afternoon and early evening together, connecting to one another and sharing about the experience of facilitating the many support groups Cancer Lifeline offers (all groups are currently online).
Our agenda included a round of self-introductions, small group breakouts about how facilitating support groups have affected each of us, several renewal practices to support the well-being of our facilitators (guided meditation, nervous system reset sequence, journaling, independent nature walk), a teach-in about the latest developments in psychological science related to support groups, and a discussion plenary about shared topics of interest. We shared a meal in the middle and supported one another as professional colleagues. Each of our support group facilitators is an amazing member of our Cancer Lifeline community and getting to experience natural connections together made for an inspiring experience. We hope to offer connecting retreats to nourish our support group facilitators on a regular, ongoing basis.
Learn more about our many cancer support groups. You can also contact us at (206) 832-1271 or through our Lifeline (800) 255-5505 or (206) 297-2500 (Monday – Friday 9am-5pm PST) and we’ll connect you to a group.
Get Connected - Find the Support Group You Need
Cancer Lifeline’s Support Groups work to meet the following needs of patients, survivors, caregivers, family members and friends:
* Members have a place where emotions can be expressed and not judged
* Members gain a sense of community & inclusion with others in a similar situation
* Members find ways in which choice & control can be attained while living with cancer
* Members are provided with opportunities for education and information.

Here are just a few of the more than two dozen support groups that meet online monthly:
New! Spanish-speaking Support Group Starts this Fall

NUEVO Viviendo con Cáncer

Para más información contacte: (206) 832-1279 o ayudarenespanol@cancerlifeline.org

It's About Time Writers' Reading Series
CL's long-time facilitator Peggy Studivant has been hosting an online Writer's Reading Series for quite sometime - at least 368 episodes worth! Recently two Cancer Lifeline supporters joined the live broadcast recorded on July 14. In this reading Cancer Lifeline's Advisory Board member Wanda Herndon reads her poem "I Cry" and Alison Eckels shares her poem "In the Quiet of the City Called Covid-19."

Learn more about CL's writing programs.
Our annual fall fundraiser Resources for Hope moves online this year for a live streamed event on Saturday, October 17. Benefiting Cancer Lifeline's Patient Financial Assistance Fund for low-income cancer patients, this year's Resources for Hope will roll out the red carpet to help cancer patients who are faced with choosing between treatment and meeting life's necessities. You can register now here - registration is free.
Our Sponsors Make It Possible
We want to give a shout out to our generous sponsors who stood by us as we took our fundraisers online this year. Thank you for helping us optimize the lives of people living with cancer.
Swedish Cancer Institute has been a steady sponsor of Cancer Lifeline's events for several years. Cancer Lifeline has worked alongside Swedish to help advance the field of emotional support for people living with cancer. Our thanks for their continued sponsorship.
A longtime sponsor of our Breakfast, The Commerce Bank of Washington has been supporting Cancer Lifeline since 1995. Several bank staff members have served on our board, including Ben Hicks, our current board president, and Susan Finneran, who now sits on our Advisory Board. We are grateful for the Bank's ongoing partnership.
Reaching as far back as 2006, Cornerstone Advisors has been a steadfast sponsor of Cancer Lifeline's events, this year rejoining as a sponsor of our upcoming Resources for Hope 2020 Online event on October 17.
For the third year in a row, Jennifer Evans and her Farmers Insurance agency has stepped to sponsor our annual Fall Fundraiser, Resources for Hope. As it moves online this year, we are grateful for Jan's support.

Seattle Cancer Care Alliance brings together the leading research teams and cancer specialists of Fred Hutch, Seattle Children's, and UW Medicine. We are grateful for their support of our programs and for our current SCCA board members Tiffany Courtnage and Andy Peet.
Cancer Lifeline's relationship with the University of Washington goes back to 1973 when members of the UW faculty sat down with our founder Gloria Gutkowski to talk about the lack of emotional support programs for cancer patients and what might be done about it. Today we offer our programs at UW Medical Center - Northwest and UW Medicine - Valley Medical Center. Cancer Lifeline salutes UW Medicine for their ongoing support of our events.
We began our formal hospital partnership with Overlake Medical Center in September of 2017, but our relationship reaches back to 2004 when Cancer Lifeline had office space in Bellevue. We are grateful for Overlake's ongoing support of our events.
Over 14 years ago, Cancer Lifeline was invited to host a support group at EvergreenHealth. That was just the beginning of our strong partnership. Cancer Lifeline thanks Evergreen for their continued support.

Lilly has been a long-time sponsor of Cancer Lifeline's Breakfast with Friends, starting back when it was still a Luncheon. We are grateful for their steadfast support of our fundraising events over the years and look forward to many more.
Dedicated to promoting the economic benefits of life science business and research for Washington state's economy and patients around the world, We Work For Health seeks to educate our elected leaders, the news media and the communities they serve about these key contributions. Cancer Lifeline welcomes We Work for Health Washington as a new sponsor of this year's Resources for Hope online fundraiser.
One of Cancer lifeline's newest hospital partners, Virginia Mason Cancer Institute has locations in both downtown Seattle and Federal Way. Cancer Lifeline is grateful for Virginia Mason's sponsorship of our events.
We have counted on ROI Technology Inc. to keep us safe, secure and active on the internet since 2015. Cancer Lifeline salutes ROI Technology for their ongoing support of our events in 2020.