By Tim E. Renzelmann (July 22, 2021)
Wednesday, July 14th was the first time in sixteen months that we gathered in the MOA/SCBS 2nd Floor Conference Room for a TLC Survivorship Session and Survivorship Can Be Fun Game Night!
The evening started with some games, including Crokinole (upper left), Cribbage (upper right), Farkle (middle left) and a Jigsaw Puzzle (middle right) as well as some High Five Dominoes (not pictured)!
We took a break from the games at 6P for a Survivorship Session and a chance for new participants to connect and familiar participants to reconnect, before, eventually, playing more games!
It also was the perfect opportunity to award our Second SCCCF Survivor-Athlete “Beacon of Hope” Award! See next article!
Admittedly, it felt a little strange to be together again in a setting that we all once took for granted! As I mentioned to the group on this night, over these past sixteen months I have often looked back (with more than a bit of longing and remorse) at the photo (bottom) that was taken just a few weeks prior to the suspension of indoor activities due to COVID-19 in which more than forty cancer patients/survivors and co-survivors celebrated the ten-year anniversary of ST&BF!
In an article titled, “Moving Forward from the Pandemic: Navigating the Dualities of Grief and Relief” Psychologist Dr. Ryan Van Wyk, PsyD, LP, reminds us:
We went through an unprecedented pandemic and it’s completely appropriate to feel anxious as we move into new stages. With the onset of the pandemic, we adjusted to wearing masks and social distancing. These safety practices became our normal as we navigated an unsafe and changing world. Now, as we enter a new phase in the pandemic, we have the opportunity to adjust these patterns and routines. It might feel scary to take off your mask or hug a relative. So much has happened and as we take inventory of this change, we might ask ourselves, “Where do we go from here?”
He further advises:
As we take inventory of what has changed, we need to create space to acknowledge how we feel about those changes, and then determine how we want to live in light of the past year. This may include setting different limits, prioritizing our wellbeing, and maintaining or ending practices that developed the pandemic. Tuning into our comfort zone and tending to our emotions, we can take this opportunity to move forward in a holistic way, taking small steps and calibrating how fast we want to go.
I suspect there were those who are fully vaccinated who, perhaps, do not feel comfortable enough to return to what once was a very safe space... and I totally understand and respect that as do most others that I have talked with in our Local Cancer Community, especially those involved in TLC and ST&BF.
Over these summer months we still have the safety of outdoor activities to take advantage of. But we will begin to carefully, cautiously, and thoughtfully begin to offer more indoor activities.
So, as more folks get vaccinated... as we learn more about the efficacy of the COVID vaccination... not only on the original strain but new variants... I encourage you to share any of your concerns! And... when you are ready to come back... please know that we will continue to move forward... slowly... and adjust along the way!
Consider joining us for our next TLC Survivorship Session/Survivorship Can Be Fun Game Gathering scheduled for Monday, August 9th!