Tuning In to Emotional Wellness

On behalf of Cancer Care Connection, an affiliate of JFS Delaware.

A Self-Guided Tool to Take Charge of Your Cancer Journey

While advances have been made in medical research and treatments for cancer, the fear, anxiety, and other emotional aspects that come with a cancer diagnosis often go undetected, unacknowledged, or untreated. Emotional wellness is an important part of any person’s health, especially for someone navigating the twists and turns of a serious medical diagnosis like cancer. Access to the right support tools, space for reflection, and the autonomy to explore resources can help cancer patients regain a sense of control and take charge of their cancer journey.

CanSurround, a web-based portal developed by oncology nurses and social workers, addresses the mental and emotional wellness of cancer patients that is often overlooked.

“No other disease strikes fear in people like cancer does,” says Meg Maley, founder of CanSurround and a registered nurse who has worked with cancer patients over the last 30+ years.

“Our goal with CanSurround is to translate what we know is helpful—what can often be life-saving emotional support—on a digital platform, available 24 hours a day,” explained Maley. “With CanSurround, we can help people look into their cancer and themselves in a way medicine just can’t.”

CanSurround’s interactive features include checklists and trackers, a multi-media journal, mind-body relaxation exercises, educational and inspirational resources, and more. Users of the platform can log their emotional journey, engage in mindfulness activities, and access a library of well-vetted resources from trusted professionals.

Additionally, members of the patient’s support circle, such as loved ones and doctors, can be invited to connect on the CanSurround platform, follow along the emotional journey, and check in when needed. This kind of emotional and social support can make a huge difference in cancer patients’ journeys—their maintenance of mental health through physical hardships as well as their overall resilience.

“I’m so glad we can guide our callers to CanSurround,” says Janet Teixeira, Executive Director of Cancer Care Connection. “It provides supportive resources for people affected by cancer at the click of a button, any time of the day or night, no matter where you are.”

Cancer Care Connection is an organization whose Oncology Social Workers prioritize emotional and mental health support for cancer patients and provide practical guidance to help them achieve their best possible outcome. Now, CanSurround is an integral part of Cancer Care Connections services, reducing distress and further enhancing emotional wellness through resources and activities which inspire, inform, and help cancer patients on every step of their journey.

One breast cancer survivor and CanSurround user shared that the self-guided platform helped her “regain [her] emotional equilibrium because it normalizes the emotional challenges of cancer, validates your feelings, and gives me a place to sit and be with whatever I’m feeling.”

As a former healthcare professional, she recognizes that cancer treatment continues to be focused on traditional medicine. “The emotional piece of cancer is still the most neglected and so [CanSurround] really fills that void…this site has given me an infusion of encouragement when I least expect it yet when I need it most.”

As a cancer survivor, she explained how, now, she sometimes values the site even more than during the ups and downs of her active illness.

“To most everyone else, I’m better—it’s over. But you never really get over cancer. . . so, while a lot of people tune out of your cancer journey, CanSurround is still tuning in.”

CanSurround is now an integral part of the resources Cancer Care Connection provides.
For more information, visit www.cancercareconnection.org/cansurround or call 302-266-8050 to speak with an Oncology Social Worker.