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.

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.

Just for Guys!!

guys around a table

We’ve got some exciting news! Have you heard about our newest program initiative, The Guys Discussion Group?

Led by LCSW Dennis Heffern, each month we’ll hear from a different community member on a certain topic with a chance for open discussion at the end.  In this guys-only program, we’ll shoot the breeze with men of all young adult cancer experiences.  Nothing is off the table.  You won’t want to miss it!

The first one starts on August 23rd!  Sign up to be on our email list (more on that below) and we’ll send you the Zoom link when it’s time!  This group is for any guy facing cancer, whether that means patient, survivor, or caregiver.

For more details check out the program page here, and for questions, feel free to reach out to!

Sign up on our program list using the link below, choosing ‘Guys’ Discussion Group’ as one of the programs for which you’d like notifications.  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.***

Click here to sign up to be notified when this program is announced by choosing it under ‘Programs you’re interested in.’ (Feel free to choose to be notified when other programs are announced too!)

Write Now with Jean Rowe: Jump

guy jumping a cliff

“The feeling like no matter what I do, I’m going to fall. Something will toss me over the edge. Instead of letting that happen, I make the decision myself. I get to decide when to jump.”

Rebekah Crane
The Upside of Falling Down

Jumping into water. Jumping into shorts and a tee-shirt. Jumping into the car for a road trip. Jumping at spontaneity. It’s Summer! It’s arrived! How are you jumping into this season?

Things are lightening up. Maybe you’ll still wear a mask if that is what feels good and right, and that is just fine. How does it feel to jump into the luxury of activities like meeting a friend for coffee? Eating in a restaurant? Being around other human beings? Have you jumped into hugs yet? They feel pretty good.

Be a Jumping Explorer this month and catalog your adventures. What is coming up? How does it feel in your body? No judgment or criticism here – get curious!

You get to decide when to jump – isn’t that wonderful? Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

Write Now With Jean Rowe: Lush

While from the purpling east departs
The star that led the dawn,
Blithe Flora from her couch upstarts,
For May is on the lawn.

William Wordsworth
Ode Composed on a May Morning

The promise of a bloom, the way the trees fill in with green, the lushness of May is here. Birds return; all manner of winged creatures buzz; the tree frogs sing. It’s this filling in of things that brings hope of new life, fresh air, warmer weather. It’s cyclical rather than linear. It has purpose.

Consider this. How are you filling in? Whether it be interior or external? Big or small? No grand gestures required. What is buzzing through your being? What songs is your mind humming? What feels lush in this present moment? With the longer light, take more breaks, breathe deeply, look around through fresh points of view.

Carry your journal along. On walks around Beaver Lake near where I live, I see blankets strewn, bodies relaxed, books open, pens poised above pages; sometimes a nap.

Wander with this in mind. Capture what surfaces in your pages.

Let me know how it goes. I’d love to hear from you!

Yes! where Love nestles thou canst teach
The soul to love the more;
Hearts also shall thy lessons reach
That never loved before.