LEWISTON — The Dempsey Center has announced its programs for March. All services are provided at no cost to anyone impacted by cancer regardless of their socioeconomic circumstances or where they receive their medical treatment.

All programs are intended for cancer patients, their families and caregivers unless otherwise noted. All programs are held at the Dempsey Center, 29 Lowell St. on the fifth floor, unless otherwise noted. For more information, call 207-795-8250 or email info@dempseycenter.org. Register for programs at dempseycenter.org/program or by calling 207-795-8250.

Monthly Monday Meditations: 4 to 4:45 p.m. on the first Monday of each month. This is a drop-in group meditation session. Brief instruction is followed by guided exercises designed to give participants a “sampling” of different types of meditation practices, including mindfulness, loving kindness and seasonal practices. No experience is necessary to attend. No registration required.

Dempsey Center introductory meetings and tours: 3 to 3:45 p.m. Tuesdays, 6 to 6:45 p.m. Thursdays and noon to 12:45 p.m. Fridays. Preregistration is requested. Other times are available, including Saturdays, by appointment. 

Fit for Life: 11 a.m. to noon Mondays and 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays. Under the guidance of a fitness instructor, the class will feature strengthening, balance and flexibility exercise, combined with light to moderate movement. No registration required; drop-ins are welcome.

Support for Seedlings: 4 to 5 p.m. Mondays. This children’s group takes the best of yoga class and support and wraps them together for a fun, active and expressive experience for children impacted by cancer. Pre-screening is required. Appropriate for ages 6 to 12. 


Living with Hope Patient Group: 10:30 a.m. to noon on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. Discussion and guided exercises for adults who have metastatic and/or advanced cancer. Pre-assessment required. 

Living with Hope Companion Group: 10:30 a.m. to noon on the first and third Tuesdays of month. Discussion for adults who have a loved one with metastatic and/or advanced cancer. Pre-assessment and registration is required. 

Pilates Yoga: 11 a.m. to noon Tuesdays. Merges the benefits of pilates and yoga to develop core strength, tone muscles, increase flexibility and help reduce stress. No registration required; drop-ins are welcome.

NOMO (Not on My Own): 6 to 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday of the month. A social group for young adults, ages 19 to 39, impacted by cancer. No registration required; drop-ins are welcome.

Yoga for Life: 11 a.m. to noon and 6 to 7 p.m. Thursdays. This is a gentle yoga class for all fitness levels. The focus is on range of motion movement and gentle stretching. No experience with yoga is required, nor is registration, and drop-ins are welcome.

YWCA Breast Cancer Encore Program: 5:30 to 6 p.m. Thursdays at the YWCA. The program, designed for those who have experienced breast cancer, consists of 30 minutes in warm water doing gentle exercises designed to increase range of motion, muscle strength and enhance general fitness. Participants will also have free access to the YWCA pool and any lap, family swims or water fitness programs. Appropriate for breast cancer patients or survivors. 


Teen Group: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. This group for adolescents age 12 and older offers a comfortable environment to talk, learn more about cancer and engage in activities with other teens impacted by cancer. No registration required; drop-ins are welcome.

Chair Yoga: 9 to 10:15 a.m. Saturday, March 3. Chair yoga can give all the benefits of a floor yoga class while sitting in a chair. Class size is limited to 12. Registration is required. 

Healing Masks for Self-Discovery: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, March 3. While masks are often thought of as a way to conceal, they can also be a powerful way to discover and explore different aspects of oneself. This workshop is tailored to those who have been impacted by cancer and will incorporate guided imagery and the opportunity to decorate a “healing mask.” All supplies will be provided, and no art experience is necessary. This is appropriate for anyone impacted by cancer, age 16 and older. Class size is limited to 12. 

Tai Chi for Balance: 9 to 10 a.m. Tuesdays, March 6 to May 29. Tai Chi is a mind-body practice that combines gentle exercise, breathing practices and meditation to activate self-healing. It can be practiced by anyone of any age or level of ability. Registration required, and class size is limited to 12; priority will be given to first-timers. 

Soft and Smooth: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 6. A sore mouth and throat can have a significant impact on ability to eat well during cancer treatment, yet staying well-nourished is important to health, treatment outcome and overall well being. The class will prepare soft and nourishing foods as well as smoothies and other blender concoctions to help maintain nutrition throughout treatment. Class size is  Limited to eight. 

Cooking Matters Pop-Up Store Tour: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, March 7, April 4 or May 2 (ach date is a single class, not a class series). This cooking-enhanced nutrition education class offers participants cost-saving techniques for the grocery store, tools for choosing nutritious options from every food group, and ideas for healthy, lost-cost meals. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in a facilitated discussion, as well as a hands-on culinary experience to prepare a dish to share in class. First-time participants will receive a $10 gift card for healthy purchases, reference material and other take-home gifts. The class will be led by Rebecca Schoen, BA, Maine SNAP-Ed nutrition educator, Healthy Androscoggin. Each class size is limited to 20. 


Acupressure for Resilience and Vitality: 10:30 a.m. to noon. Tuesday, March 13. Participants will discover acupressure points that support resilience and vitality and learn how Chinese traditional medicine describes the groundwork for resilience and vitality and how to apply these teachings to living with cancer before, during or after treatment. The class is appropriate for cancer patients and survivors. 

Seed Starting: 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 13. The Dempsey Center Community Gardeners will host this event to kick off the garden season. This is a hands-on workshop where participants will start a few seeds and learn how to bring an early spring into the home. The garden team will also share information about plans for education and volunteer opportunities at the community garden. 

Freshstart: 1 to 2:30 p.m. Wednesdays, March 14 to April 11. Presented in collaboration with Healthy Androscoggin and the American Cancer Society, the five-week program is free and designed to teach participants to become tobacco-free. This is open to anyone, regardless of cancer impact. 

Mini Spa: 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 14, or 10 to 11 a.m. Friday, March 23. Participants may have a relaxing time of free mini spa treatments, a warm foot soak and hand treatment in a calm, peaceful atmosphere. Registration is required.

Soup’s On!: 1 to 3 p.m. Thursdays, March 15 and 22. In week one, the class will make some nourishing broths and everyone will take some home. During week two, the class will use broth from week one to make some soups. The class size is limited to eight. Registration is required.

From Cancer to Health — Stress Management and Coping Intervention Program: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, March 15 to May 10. This is an evidenced-based program designed by Ohio State University and supported by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society. Their research showed that the skills and strategies patients learned in this program helped them to reduce stress, improve their coping skills and strengthen their social support system, while minimizing physical side effects from treatment. This is appropriate for cancer patients recently diagnosed and those currently in treatment. The class size is limited to 12, and registration is required.


Cancer Treatment 101: 3:30 to 5 p.m. Monday, March 19. This special tour will teach children the basics of cancer in a way that they can understand, offering hands-on experience to learn about cancer treatments. Parents and guardians are encouraged to attend. This is appropriate for ages 6 and older and adult loved ones. It is co-facilitated by Dempsey Center and CMMC oncology staff. The class size is limited to 10, and registration is required.

Making the Move to a Plant-Based Diet: 6 to 7:30 p.m.Tuesday, March 27. The mini-series will provide the nutrition basics for adopting this healthy approach to eating. Participants will review plant sources of protein as well as vitamins and minerals that may need attention. Each class will include cooking demonstrations and tasting opportunities to help get started. Registration is required.

Incontinence — What’s a Prostate Cancer Survivor to Do?: 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 28. This presentation will be an interactive lecture, focusing on an evidenced-based treatment approach to bladder symptoms; specifically after undergoing prostate surgery. Appropriate for prostate cancer patients, survivors and caregivers. Presented by Jill Cramp, PT, DPT, pelvic health specialist treating a variety of symptoms, including urinary incontinence, fecal incontinence, constipation, pelvic pain and sexual dysfunction. Registration is required.

The following services are available by making an appointment at the Dempsey Center at 207-795-8250. Some may require physician approval or medical clearance to participate.

Counseling Services: Oncology counselors are available for patients and caregivers/loved ones to help promote coping. Short-term grief counseling is available to those who have lost a loved one to cancer.

Legacy and Life Reflections: Professionally recorded interviews, exploring most cherished memories, deepest values and lessons learned to share with others. Participants will receive a DVD of the interview, and include favorite photographs and songs. Available to patients living with advanced or metastatic cancer. Call 207-330-7737 to arrange an appointment.


Wigs and Headwear Consultations: Trained staff will assist with headwear options based on goals and resource availability. Options include hats (for men and women), scarves, chemo caps and wigs.

Bra Fittings for Mastectomy Patients: Free bra and breast prosthesis fittings. To schedule an appointment,  call Chelsea at Transitions at Bedards, 207-784-3700, ext. 1107, or Joan Caron at the Medicine Shoppe, 207-783-3539.

Acupuncture Appointments: 1 to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. Register for an acupuncture clinics by calling the center. Treatment occurs in one large room, where people relax in recliners. The clinics are open to anyone who has had a cancer diagnosis within the last two years.

Wellness for Life Consultations: A wellness specialist will help establish personal fitness and wellness goals and will be available to provide ongoing support.

Nutrition Consultations: Healthy eating habits and good nutrition can help patients deal with the effects of cancer, before, during and after treatment. A dietitian will tailor a nutrition plan specific to needs.

Massage Therapy: Massage therapy can help relieve anxiety, fatigue, musculoskeletal tension, difficulty sleeping and pain. Patients are eligible for eight massage sessions with physician approval. Primary caregivers are eligible for six sessions.

Reiki: A gentle technique intended to reduce stress and discomfort. Practitioners place their hands on, or just above the body. Patients are eligible for eight sessions. Primary caregivers are eligible for six.

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