DEAR SUN SPOTS: The Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine is pleased to announce the expansion of their free complementary therapy program to anyone in Western Maine who has been impacted by cancer whether they are still in treatment, on a break from treatment, or out of treatment for any period of time.

This is a huge change from the initial “Caring Coupon” program that provided free complementary therapies to patients in treatment for cancer or out of treatment for up to only one year. Now, once diagnosed with cancer, individuals living in Western Maine may receive four Caring Coupons and their caregivers may receive two.  Each coupon can be exchanged for a free 40-minute session of Reiki, reflexology, therapeutic massage, oncology massage, introductory yoga, aroma touch, or a nutrition consultation from a preapproved list of wellness providers. Patients choose and schedule their session from a list of wellness providers in Western Maine who have gone through an interview process.  After the session, the wellness provider is paid by the CRCofWM for their service.

Funding for this program is made possible through private foundation grants, donations from individuals and companies plus the CRCofWM’s annual signature Thanksgiving Day fundraiser, the Turkey Trot 4 Hope.

After treatment, individuals enter the survivor phase as they adjust to a “new normal” so it’s important that they stay mentally and physically well during this time. Offering them the opportunity to have complimentary therapies is one of the best ways to promote and support health.

The Cancer Resource Center also recognizes the critical role of caregivers and their need for self-care while tending to the needs of their loved one or friend. Most cancer patients are consumed by the rigors of treatment and assimilating cancer as part of their identity so that they are not ready to focus on long-term wellness practices until a year post- treatment. Thus, there is a new emphasis on survivorship.

This recognition has resulted in many individuals receiving survivor care plans from heir physician when treatment is completed. These plans often include recommendations for wellness activities that the center provides. The center is a community of caring dedicated to the enhanced well-being of all who come for service.

To obtain caring coupons for free complementary therapy, individuals can come to the Cancer Resource Center at 199 Main St. in Norway, email Diane Madden at [email protected], or call 890-0329. Applications to become a part of the CRCWM Wellness Provider team are available online at www.crcwm.org .

Donations to the Cancer Resource Center of Maine may be mailed to CRCWM, P.O. Box 263, Norway, ME 04268 or made online at www.crcofwm.org.

The Cancer Resource Center of Western Maine is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. It is open from 3 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday and Friday. A variety of comfort items are available in addition to the wellness programs. All are free to anyone impacted by cancer. For more information, visit the website at www.crcofwm.org; find us on Facebook; or call 890-0329.

—Diane, executive director.

This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name. We won’t use it if you ask us not to. Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be emailed to [email protected].


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