It’s July already?!

wildflowers in a field

We hope you’re having a great summer!

We can’t believe it’s July already! This summer is flying by!

We wanted to let you know that Cactus Cancer Society (formerly Lacuna Loft) will be pushing pause on programs through the month of July. We’ve got some pretty amazing things in the works and we’re very excited about getting back to you this August with more wonderful programs.

What do we plan on doing for the rest of the month? Trust us, it’s not a vacation ;). It’ll be business as usual over here as we strategically plan, grant write, program plan, evaluate, dream, network, and talk young adult cancer survivorship to anyone who will listen! We’ll also be moving into our new website for Cactus Cancer Society (pardon our dust in the interim, and more on that here), as well as going crazy at the chalkboard with Elephants and Tea planning out Gabfest 2021!

Don’t’ worry! While we’re busy behind the scenes, you’ll still be able to:

  • Read through our blog! It dates back all the way through March of 2014, so there’s lots to read!
  • Take part in a meditation series with Mamma G at Elephants and Tea on July 11th and July 18th!
  • Sign up for our new Guy’s Discussion program! It premieres in August and we are SO excited about it.
  • The next Survivorship Series has been announced! Register today!
  • Check out our Grief to Gratitude workshop with Lov Yoga and Tara Picklo that is starting when we get back!
  • Are you a healthcare provider? Get all the details on our FREE continuing education course with LCSW Jean Rowe, Nourish, Nurture, and Renew.
  • And much, much more on our Upcoming Programs page!

In the meantime, we’d love to hear from you! Feel free to email and tell us anything! From what new yummy recipe you’ve tried out, who your favorite Tik-Tok-er is, to what Pinterest fails (or wins!) you’ve been up to creating this summer! It could even be what you want to see more of here at Cactus Cancer Society, we want to hear it all!

Have a wonderful July and we’ll see you in August! 🙂

Meet Annie, Our Featured Community Member of the Week

Meet Annie.

My name: Annie

Home​: Billenica, MA

Horoscope: Sagittarius

Favorite book: The Artist Way by Julia Cameron

Hero: I’m inspired by authentic people and those who shine their lights bright.

Superpower: Staying positive and putting one foot in front of the other.

Hardest challenge​: Going through treatment and figuring out the “new normal”.

Guilty pleasure: Chocolate and House Hunters

Favorite Lacuna Loft Program: Unspoken Ink Creative Writing Program

Proudest moment: Nurturing my children and watching them grow.

The best piece of advice I’ve received: Take things one step at a time.

How I stay mentally healthy: Journaling, Yoga, Walking/ Jogging

Personal Mantra: Never give up, one day at a time, I love mantras!

My favorite part of being part of Lacuna Loft: Knowing that I’m not alone. Being part of a supportive and encouraging community.

Improve The Health And Healthcare of AYA Cancer Survivors

people holding hands

Lacuna Loft’s very own Mallory Casperson is an investigator in a new study with researchers at Kaiser Permanente to improve the health and healthcare of adolescent and young adults (AYAs) who may have had cancer. We need to hear about cancer experiences like yours to help shape our research. Topics will include your experiences with medical care, your life experience, and your thoughts on research participation.

We would like to recruit 30 AYAs to participate in a sixty-minute telephone interview. We will talk about cancer experiences and what researchers should know.

People who complete an interview will receive a $40 Target, Amazon, or Starbucks gift card for their participation.

If you are interested in participating, please click on the following link to answer a few questions to see if you are eligible. If you are eligible and selected, a member of the study team will follow up with you to schedule your interview.

Click here if you’re interested:

With sincere thanks,
Marlaine Figueroa Gray, PhD – Kaiser Permanente Washington

Mallory Casperson – Lacuna Loft

Research Study On Extracurriculars Among Childhood Cancer Survivors

Lacuna Loft really enjoys sharing the news on research studies that benefit young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.  Check out this announcement for one from Celina at Cedars-Sinai!

I am part of a research team at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. I am writing to invite you to participate in our research study about promoting extracurricular activities among early childhood cancer survivors. We hope to learn more about childhood cancer survivors’ experiences participating in extracurricular activities.

If you are a parent of an early childhood cancer survivor (ages 10-18), please consider enrolling in our study. You and your child will participate in one interview, 30 to 60 minutes in length. (Please note that parents and children 12 or older have the option to participate in a second interview). As a thank you for your participation, you will receive an Amazon gift card worth $30 in your currency.

If you’d like to participate or have any questions about the study, please email: Celina Shirazipour, Ph.D. @

Meet Leslie Palliere, Our Featured Community Member of the Week

Meet Leslie Palliere.

My name: Leslie Palliere

Home​: Currently I live in Aiken, SC- HOME is Payson, Utah

Horoscope: Capricorn

Favorite book: GENRE: Historical Fiction, Oldest favorite: To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Newest Favorite: The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Hero: My grandma, my mom, my aunts, and my brothers.

Superpower: Making meaningful connections with children

Hardest challenge​: Loss of fertility, depression, divorce, and post-cancer treatment chronic conditions that are a constant reminder of personal losses.

Guilty pleasure: Binging on favorite TV shows, wine, and chocolate-covered salted caramel.

Favorite Lacuna Loft Program: Unspoken Ink, Lost and Found Journal Group

Proudest moment: Graduating with a Master’s Degree in Communication Disorders and Sciences

The best piece of advice I’ve received: Be patient with your body, and allow yourself to feel how you feel.

How I stay mentally healthy: Daily meditation, daily and weekly check-ins with support groups, friends, and family, allowing myself time to be still, rest, and reflect, creative writing and journaling.

Personal Mantra: These have been changing often lately: current favorite is: “I take pride in myself daily.”

My favorite part of being part of Lacuna Loft: The instant feeling of safety and connection I have within Lacuna Loft groups, and the amazing friendships that have been made. The consistency of the programs has helped my confidence grow and writing has helped me work through so many issues and all allowed me to rediscover myself and feel more like ME again.

Paper Mache Cactus Workshop

tray of cactus

Join us for a one-of-a-kind art workshop as we celebrate all things cactus! We’ll be crafting a unique cactus made from foam board and paper mache over two Mondays together in August. This two-part workshop will have a 20 young adult cancer patient, survivor, and caregiver capacity, and will meet for 2 hours on Monday, August 2nd and Monday, August 9th starting at 4:30pm PT / 6:30 pm CT/ 7:30 pm ET! We’ll send you everything you need to participate ahead of time!

Please note, by signing up for this workshop you are committing to spending two Mondays with us. This is also a more difficult workshop than we normally do. We will be working with box cutters, messy glue, and toothpicks! While paper mache isn’t for the faint of heart, the one-of-a-kind masterpiece you create will certainly be worth your effort! (And we guarantee with so many messy components, we’re bound to have quite a few laughs.) Email for any questions about this!

Who: 20 young adult cancer patients, survivors, and caregivers.

When: Monday, August 2nd + Monday, August 9th @ 4:30-6:30 pm PT / 6:30-8:30 pm CT / 7:30-9:30 pm ET via video chat.* (*US time zones…please confirm what time this means for where you live).

How does it work? We’ll send you all of the materials you need to participate! Lacuna Loft will send you an email about a week before the workshop with information on how to join the video chat. ***You’ll need the link that we’ll provide you, a headset with a microphone, and a webcam.***

Please note: Due to the global pandemic and ever-increasing customs and delivery times, we have stopped shipping outside of the United States. If you are interested in joining, please fill out the form and we will send you a list of supplies needed to participate, so you can still join us! Thank you for your understanding! If you have any questions, you can contact