BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - 13

Imagine wearing an 'emotional knapsack'
every day, and all your stresses about
having cancer are 20-pound stones, weighing
you down. Being able to remove one of these
stones can be a huge relief.
-Sandy Faulks

Fraser Valley Centre, has worked in
healthcare for 27 years. "I've had
the privilege of working with patients
as they were going through the
difficult experience of adjusting to
a cancer diagnosis. It takes stress to
a whole new level, and this requires
new tools."
The mission of Faulks and her
colleagues is to help patients transfer
limited reserves of energy away from
stress and anxiety, to be used in more
beneficial ways, like getting well.
"Listening to patients and families
is the first step to understanding
their situation and sources of stress.
Being truly understood can be a
great relief, in and of itself," Faulks
says. "People need to know their
experiences are normal."

Anxiety among children who have a
parent with cancer is a growing concern
in the cancer care landscape. The
Patient and Family Counselling (PFC)
Children's Program is for kids aged five
to 12 years who have a family member
with cancer. Led by a counsellor, art
therapist, nurse and volunteer, the
program is designed to reduce isolation
and promote discussion and connection
with other families in a fun setting.
"It gives children the opportunity to
ask questions about cancer they may
not feel ready to ask their parents,"
Faulks says. "They learn what cancer

Columbians, particularly in the
Fraser Valley region, face economic
challenges as a result of their cancer
diagnosis. This added stress can have
a ripple effect for partners, children
and extended family.
"I think our biggest challenge
is helping patients who
earn a low income or
who are homeless,"
Faulks says.
is and are given
"Many patients
a mini-tour of
do not have
the centre,
to see where
health or shorttreatment
term disability
takes place-
this reduces
this can
their fear of
impact them
the unknown."
At the same time,
during treatment
parents learn how
and recovery."
to communicate and
support their children
Sandy Faulks,
support has helped
during the cancer
regional professional practice
Faulks' team to meet
leader, Patient and Family
this challenge head-on.
PFC also hosts a
"The caring and
Memory Attention
generosity of BC Cancer Foundation
and Adaptation Training program, to
donors has made a significant
help patients who are experiencing
difference by providing us with
"chemo brain" side-effects. "We help
funding for grocery gift certificates.
them to understand this problem and
Patients in need are deeply moved
learn skills and techniques to manage
when we give them these cards ...
it," Faulks explains.
some are in such financial straits that
A third group program offered by
they are unable to purchase a digital
PFC is Stress Management. During
thermometer, so we keep some on
four weekly sessions patients learn
hand. It is an honour to be able to
about breathing techniques, muscle
share these resources with them."
relaxation, mindful meditation,
For Faulks, the overall success
visualization and how even our own
of the PFC program is the positive
thoughts contribute to stress.
impact on patients. "People who have
attended our groups and counselling
have described it as a 'transformative
Though Faulks and her team help
experience.' They're so relieved to be
many families, they still face
able to speak with counsellors who
challenges in meeting the unique
really 'get it,' who understand what
needs of everyone who comes
it is like to be on the cancer journey,
through their doors. Many British
and the challenges it presents."




Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of BC Cancer - Fall 2017

BC Cancer - Fall 2017
Opening Thoughts
Healthy Insights
Why I Give
Researcher Profi le
Dr. Marco Marra says “now is the time”
Testing to prevent cancer in families
Counselling program helps families affected by cancer to cope
Legacy Giving
Regional Roundup
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - BC Cancer - Fall 2017
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - 2
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Contents
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Healthy Insights
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - 5
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Why I Give
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Researcher Profi le
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Dr. Marco Marra says “now is the time”
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - 9
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - 10
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Testing to prevent cancer in families
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Counselling program helps families affected by cancer to cope
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - 13
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Legacy Giving
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - Regional Roundup
BC Cancer - Fall 2017 - 16