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Support Programs

Ensuring you receive information and support before, during treatment and beyond

Patient and Family Counselling Services (PFC)

Our team of professional and experienced social workers and counsellors understand the challenges of getting through cancer. We provide individual, couple and family counselling as well as support groups and education programs to support you through this challenging time. These services are provided at no cost and are available to patients, families, caregivers and friends who are supporting cancer patients. The services are available from the time of diagnosis, through treatment and up to 18 months following the end of treatment.

To access PFC services, call our Program Secretary at 250.519.5525 or toll free at 1.800.670.3322 ext. 695525. You are encouraged to leave a message including your name and phone number; you can expect to receive a call back from us within 2-3 business days from the time of your call.

Cancer Information – Events, Services, Resources

While you are in BC Cancer – Victoria, be sure to check out the various bulletin boards located throughout the Centre and on all three floors. They are filled with information on upcoming events, services and resources which may be of interest to you. 

The Library is located on the third floor and includes an extensive collection of information on community resources as well as books, DVDs and CDs, including many geared to children and teens.

Support Centre Volunteers

Volunteers are located throughout BC Cancer – Victoria to help you in many different ways. On the third floor, our volunteers sit at the Information desk located within the Alex & Jo Campbell Patient and Family Support Centre. These volunteers can help you find information related to practical (accommodation, rides to and from treatment) and financial resources that support cancer patients to get through their treatment. They are also familiar with programs available at BC Cancer – Victoria and can help you identify which ones may best fit your needs.

Education & Groups

Education Series

Every month, education sessions are held on topics of relevance to cancer patients and their families. Some of our most popular sessions are offered several times a year, including the following:

  • Tools to Relax and Improve Sleep
  • Managing Worry and Fear of Recurrence
  • Brain Strength: Managing & Improving Cognitive Function
  • Managing Pain: Non-Pharmacological Approaches

Nutrition & Counselling Education for Colorectal Cancer Patients

This group education session provides practical information on nutrition for colorectal patients and their families. Coping skills and strategies are also discussed. The session is facilitated by both a nutritionist and a counsellor and offered twice monthly on the second and fourth Wednesdays, from 1:30-3:30 pm. Sessions are normally held in the Patient Education Room within the third floor Support Centre.

Cancer Transitions™

This two day wellness program is designed for cancer patients who have completed active treatment and are transitioning back into their post-treatment lives. It is designed to help patients answer the question – What now? Included in the program are an exercise session, guest presenters and group discussion on topics relevant to participants, including:  dealing with fears, medical follow-up, nutrition, getting back into physical activity and generally moving forward in all aspects of life. Written resources, pedometers, coaching follow-up calls and a "booster" session are also provided.

Support Groups

Brain Tumour Support Group 

Brain tumour patients, their families and friends are welcome. Drop-in sessions are on the second Thursday of each month from 10:30 am - 12:00 pm in the Wellness Room on the third floor.

Head & Neck Support Group

For patients who are beginning, going through or completed treatment for oral (head and neck) cancer. Family members are also welcome. Monthly sessions provide information, ideas for coping as well as time to connect and share experiences. Themes have included:  Living with uncertainty, getting through treatment, dealing with side effects and sharing the emotional and physical impact of oral cancers.  See flyers or monthly calendar for meeting dates.  Call 250-519-5525 for more information or to speak to the facilitator.

Lung Cancer Support Group 

These monthly sessions provide an opportunity to meet others affected by lung cancer.  This drop-in group is open to patients as well as family members and friends.  Held within the third floor Support Centre, the group meets from 2:00 – 3:30 pm on the fourth Monday of each month. 

Ovarian Cancer Support Group 

This group provides an opportunity to connect with other women who are living with ovarian cancer. Meetings take place monthly from 10:30-noon on the third Thursday of each month. It is held within the third floor Support Centre.

Women with Metastatic Cancer Support Group 

Living with a chronic illness – metastatic cancer - is challenging on many different levels. This group provides a safe and supportive environment in which to share feelings and explore new ways of coping. The group is held every third Tuesday from 1:00 until 3:00 pm. Registration is required; please call Catherine at 250.519.5528. 

Partners of Patients with Metastatic Disease or Receiving Palliative Care 

Spouses of cancer patients whose disease is not considered curable may feel isolated and in need of support from others who are living in similar situations. Sessions are held on the fourth Thursday of each month from 5:30-7:00 pm. For further information, call 250.519.5525.

Online Support Groups

Cancer Chat Canada offers groups to patients and family members. All groups are professionally facilitated and involve “live” chat sessions scheduled weekly. Go on-line for further information or call 1.844.725.2476 to register.

Relaxation Program 

This drop-in session is offered every Thursday from 1:30-3:00 pm and is held in the Wellness Room on the third floor. While cancer patients are given priority, family members and friends are also welcome, space permitting. Session facilitators lead participants through a visualization and relaxation experience.

Therapeutic Touch Clinic 

Patient in active treatment are encouraged to book a therapeutic touch appointment, particularly if they are struggling with physical and/or emotional distress related to treatment. Therapeutic touch is a form of energy work that elicits the relaxation response, often providing symptom relief to patients. Sessions are provided by trained and experienced volunteers, under the supervision of PFC staff members. Appointments are 30-45 minutes in length and are offered on the first and third Wednesdays within the third floor Wellness Room. Advance bookings are required; please call 250.519.5525 to make an appointment.

Look Good Feel Better Program 

On the second Tuesday of every month, volunteers guide patients through a FREE hands on workshop hosted here at BC Cancer – Victoria from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. To register call 250.519.5717. 

Especially for Children

Children's Art Program

Groups for children and grandchildren of cancer patients are offered several times yearly. These sessions are led by an art therapist who provides a structured and safe environment for children to express their feelings, thoughts and reactions through the use of art activities.  Registration is required; please call 250.519.5525 for more information and to find out when the next session will be held.

Online Resources for Children and Teens

Cancer in my Family is a website especially designed for use by children ages 6-12. Children using this site will be taken on a journey to help them understand how cancer is affecting them and their family. This award-winning website gives children a chance to create their own character; resources for parents and grandparents are also included on the site.

Facts4teens is a website for teens to help them identify and understand the complicated facts and feelings related to dealing with close family members who have cancer.

Work Matters

Vocational Rehabilitation Resources

Our vocational rehabilitation counsellor is able to help you and/or refer you to appropriate community resources related to vocational assessment, information, advocacy assistance and counselling related to work related issues for cancer patients. Call Patient and Family Counselling Services for further information about these services. 

Another place to start would be to check out our guide Cancer and Returning to Work.

Monthly Calendars

2018 Calendars

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