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Published on May 26, 2017

A day to celebrate surviving cancerA day to celebrate surviving cancer

When you are dealing with cancer, and your days are full of a variety of appointments with specialists, oncologists, blood draws, chemotherapy and radiation, it may help to know there is a window of time set aside to be free from all of it, just to celebrate you.

Mark your calendar for Saturday, June 17, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Sixth Annual Cancer Center Survivor Day Celebration at the Cape Codder Resort & Spa in Hyannis. The event is sponsored by the Cape Cod Healthcare Regional Cancer Network in partnership with National Cancer Survivors Day.

For a few hours you will get to relax, enjoy great food, have a massage and talk with others who are on the same journey.

“This day is a lot of fun and it is for everyone – cancer survivors, family members, friends, caregivers and medical professionals,” said Jeff Gaudet, LICSW, OSW-C, survivorship program manager at the Davenport-Mugar Cancer Center at Cape Cod Hospital.

There will be gift bags filled with surprises, community resources and the opportunity to win a gift basket filled with all kinds of goodies.

A committee of 20 oncology staff organizes and helps out on the day of the celebration. All the departments at Cape Cod Hospital and Falmouth Hospital, as well as medical offices in the Cape Cod Healthcare system, have the opportunity to contribute a basket, according to Gaudet.

“Some of the past baskets have had a multicultural theme, a day at the beach and ethnic foods,” He said. “The baskets have become so unique and exciting that there is now a contest with prizes for the top three creations.”

The baskets are exclusively for cancer survivors and each one receives a raffle ticket at check-in, and winners are drawn randomly at the end of the event.

Another highlight of the day will be Cape Cod Wellness Collaborative practitioners providing chair massages and Reiki.

“The first year of this event on Cape Cod was in June 2011,” according to Gaudet. “It was on the heels of the entire country getting accustomed to the idea of new treatments and people surviving illness. Back in the old days, cancer was a certain death sentence and people hung on to that feeling even when they were being treated successfully.”

As more people survived cancer treatment and lived longer, national organizations began to change their view of cancer survivorship, he said. One such organization, National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship (NCCS) was founded in 1986 and focused on the issues of survivorship “related to living with, through and beyond a cancer diagnosis.” The organization was instrumental in defining a cancer survivor as “anyone living with a history of cancer from the moment of diagnosis and for the balance of life.”

In celebration of National Cancer Survivors Day, which is officially the first Sunday in June, the National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation (NCSD) states that it is a day “to honor cancer survivors and to show the world that life after a cancer diagnosis can be fruitful, rewarding, and even inspiring.”

There is no charge for the Cancer Center Survivor Day Celebration at The Cape Codder on June 17, but those who would like to attend are asked to register by calling 508-862-5060.