How we care for ourselves gives our brain messages that shape our self worth.  -Sam Owen

Cancer is a reminder that life is short. Making time for self care, whatever form that comes in for you personally, needs to be considered more than a luxury. It’s a necessity.

Yet when you have cancer, or when your loved one has cancer, it’s all too easy to cut out self-care or acts of self-nourishment due to the demands of being in survival mode. In the short run, this is an understandable sacrifice, but in the long run the consequences are incredibly high.

Last fall, my friends, Leah and Sarah of Salty Girl Beauty, and I sat down to discuss how we could work together to support cancer survivors and co-survivors in our community. We share mutual passion, personally and professionally, for addressing the important gaps in care around cancer wellness for everyone impacted by cancer, for those who are in active treatment and those who are finished.

We talked about bringing together community partners who support cancer survivors and their caregivers for meaningful conversations and connections. The series, Survivorship and Beyond was conceived, a series that would cover distinctive topics that are important to our community. Nutrition and fitness, beauty and selfcare, mental and sexual health, and holistic wellness for thriving.

Thanks to our collaboration with New England Cancer Specialists, we are able to offer this free programming to survivors and caregivers in Scarborough and Kennebunk, ME. Registration is required, sign up by clicking here. You do not need to be a patient of New England Cancer Specialists to attend.

February, the month of love and romance, is being dedicated to beauty and self care,”Feel like YOU again”. Leah and Sarah will be the guides for the women only sessions and Dr. Fern Weisberg will offer the men only sessions. We’d love your company, and the company of your cancer friends and caregivers. Let’s take this time to love one another up!

Don’t delay your registration, as all of the beauty and self care sessions happen next week, Feb 28th- March 1st. There are a variety of days and times to select from. While you are at it, sign up for my session on mapping out your emotional recovery, happening in March, and the final session in April on thriving. From my heart to yours…

-Stephanie McLeod-Estevez, LCPC, is an art therapist and breast cancer survivor, and a former oncology counselor at the Dempsey Center. She began Creative Transformations to help others who are healing emotionally from cancer. Through Creative Transformations, she works with people in person and online to offer the self assessment toolcancer coaching, an Art as Therapy program, virtual workshops, and this weekly blog. Sign up today so you never miss a blog and find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.