Young Adults Get Brain Fog Too
Heather and I recently had the honour of participating in the Young Adults Cancer Canada (YACC) Survivor Conference held in Ottawa on November 3-7, 2011. Heather delivered a keynote address titled “Brain Blips and Other Cognitive Changes Associated with Cancer”, which was very well received. We also facilitated three one-hour workshops in smaller groups, where our goal was to assist participants in navigating the many aspects of brain fog and to highlight a few techniques which they could start using immediately.
We were approached by a large number of participants over the course of the 3 days, expressing relief because until that point, they had no idea they even had brain fog. For some, relief came from understanding that this was not ‘all in their minds’. Many had either attributed the symptoms mentioned in Heather’s keynote to fatigue, laughed them off, simply ignored them, or panicked they were going crazy. We see this as an important reminder that there is still a need for continued education with regards to validating that cancer related brain fog is real, and that there are techniques and strategies which can be used to help!
Personal highlights for us were when Geoff Eaton (Executive Director and Founder of YACC) shared his inspiring personal story and the reasons why he founded YACC; “The Climb” to Parliament Hill; educating the supporters of cancer survivors on the benefits of brain fog techniques for themselves as well as their loved ones; and the many wonderful individuals we met, most of whom are wise beyond their years, and incredibly grounded. The organizers of this conference were fantastic (hats off especially to Karine at YACC!) and we are eager to work with this amazing organization again in the future.
While at the conference, we had the opportunity to make a quick visit to Maplesoft Centre, Ottawa’s brand new cancer survivorship centre. This new facility is beautifully decorated, and the centre’s staff has clearly put great thought and care into how best to use their workspace. Heather is headed back up to Ottawa in late November to train two professionals in the delivery of our Brain Fog program. If you are from the Ottawa area, watch for Brain Fog programs offered at Maplesoft Centre in 2012 (for a list of their programs click here. While in town to train staff at Maplesoft, Heather will also be giving a public lecture on Brain Fog (stay tuned for date and time), and hopefully reuniting with some Ottawa-based YACC members!
Posted by Jen, Programs Manager and Brain Fog Facilitator, Nov.17, 2011