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Health Calendar

Have any health notes to submit to the paper? New class? New or ongoing support group? Blood drive? Fax a brief write-up to 703-917-0991 or e-mail maweber@connectionnewspapers.com

On My Own. On Monday, Dec. 1, 5:30-6:30 p.m., meet others in their 40s and beyond to discuss the challenges and coping strategies of having cancer and living alone. Individual Reiki sessions are available by appointment following this group. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 2C, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Good Grief for Children 5-12 years old. Mondays, Dec. 1-Jan. 29, 5-6 p.m. This is the continuation of an eight-week series utilizing group activities and art therapy through which children can share thoughts and feelings to help with the grief process. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Suite 203, Room B, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Brain Tumor Group. On Tuesday, Dec. 2, 12-1:30 p.m., this educational support group for adults allows patients and families to share and learn ways to meet the challenges of living with primary malignant or benign tumors. The session is facilitated by a social worker and a nurse specialized in neurological care. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Northern Virginia Epilepsy Group is a support group for adults diagnosed with seizure disorders and their caregivers. The group will meet on Dec. 3, 10 and 17 from 7 - 8 p.m., at Falls Church High School, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail, Falls Church. Free.

Children's Educational Support Program. Wednesdays, Dec. 3-Jan. 21, 5:15-6:15 p.m. This continuation of an eight-week discussion and activity group for children ages 5-12 helps participants learn about cancer and find ways to manage the emotions and changes that come when someone in the family has cancer. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Suite 203, Room B, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Caregivers Meeting. On Wednesdays, Dec. 3, 10, and 17, 7-8:30 p.m., family members can meet and discuss topics of concern including coping strategies, support, information related to cancer, its treatment and more. No meeting Dec. 24 or 31. At Inova Fairfax Women's Center, Radiation Oncology Conference Room, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church. Use the Blue parking garage. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Mindfulness Meditation. Wednesdays, Dec. 3, 10 and 17, 12-1 p.m. Mediation is an activity that aids awareness of the present moment. Learn about and experience the benefits of mindfulness meditation during this three-week series with an oncology counselor. Dress comfortably. Register by Dec. 1. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Individual nutrition counseling. On Wednesday, Dec. 3, attend an appointment with Julie Thorsen, registered dietitian, from Inova Fairfax Cancer Center's Cancer Patient Nutrition Support Program. Learn to optimize nutrition in relation to diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Call 703-289-8787 to make an appointment. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area.

Breast Cancer Group. Wednesdays, Dec. 3 and 17, 5:30-7 p.m., this semi-monthly support group for women living with early-stage breast cancer will meet at Inova Fairfax Women's Center, Radiation Oncology Conference Room, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church. Use the Blue parking garage. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Writing to Wellness: What Really Matters? On Thursday, Dec. 4, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., take time to do some personal exploration in light of the holiday season and the coming new year. Register by Dec. 3. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Suite 203, Room B, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Advanced Relaxation and Imagery Techniques: Strengthening Skills for Well-being. Fridays, Dec. 5 and 19, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m. This ongoing drop-in workshop incorporates various techniques for relaxation and meditation to promote physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. Special topics such as communication skills, anger management, self-esteem building, spiritual exploration and others may be included. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Thyroid Cancer Support Group. On Saturday, Dec. 6, 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., thyroid cancer survivors and their adult loved ones are invited to share information and support in this monthly meeting co-sponsored with the Thyroid Cancer Survivor's Association. For more information, call ThyCa, 1-877-588-7904. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

United Ostomy Association, Inc., Northern Virginia Chapter, meets Sunday, Dec. 7, at Inova Fairfax Hospital, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church, conference rooms D-E-F, above Skylight Cafe. Social hour and refreshments will take place at 1:30 p.m., followed by the program, 2-3:30 p.m. This monthly support group meeting includes holiday festivities and a featured speaker Kathleen Feeney who will discuss "Advocacy: Negotiating Your Way through the Health System.". For those who are interested in learning more about living with an ostomy, CWOCN Mary Ann Brooks attends the meetings to answer questions. All are welcome; free. Free parking in Blue garage. For more information, call UOA at 703-802-3457.

Polarity Therapy. Monday, Dec. 8, 7:15-9 p.m. Polarity therapy is a hands-on bodywork approach intended to balance the opposing energies within the body to promote mental, physical and emotional health. Learn about what an experienced polarity therapist can do from registered therapist Maggie Bukowski, M. Ed. Register by Dec. 5. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Advanced Relaxation and Imagery Techniques: Strengthening Skill for Well-being. On Tuesday, Dec. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., past participants of the Relaxation and Imagery series are welcome to attend this new monthly workshop that integrates various forms of relaxation, imagery and meditation to promote physical, mental, spiritual and emotional well-being. Topics include communication, spiritual exploration and more. Registration required. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

After the Death of a Loved One: Handling the Holidays. On Tuesday, Dec. 9, 7-9 p.m., meet with others who experienced the death of a loved one and learn to deal with feelings of anxiety, sadness and feelings of separation from the celebrations of the holiday season. Address how to handle holiday traditions, hear tips on getting through the season and review the grief process. Registration required by Dec. 8. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 2B, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Fibromyalgia/Arthritis Support Group meets the second Wednesday of each month at 1 p.m., at the Sherwood Library, 2501 Sherwood Hall Lane, Alexandria. The next meeting is Dec. 10. For more information, call Arthritis Foundation at 202-537-6800, ext. 3026 or Barbara at 703-913-0890.

Heads Up! On Wednesday, Dec. 10, 5:30-7 p.m., this educational support group for current and former head and neck cancer patients and their significant others will meet at Inova Fairfax Women's Center, Radiation Oncology Conference Room, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church. Use the Blue parking garage. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Health, Happiness and Help Through the Holidays. On Thursday, Dec. 11, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., transform the holiday season with the heartfelt gift of health and happiness. Jennifer Moore will teach variety of modalities including yoga postures, breathing techniques, chanting, deep relaxation, meditation and massage. Dress comfortably. Bring a pillow. Register by Dec. 8. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Carcinoid Cancer Group. On Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., meet with other carcinoid cancer patients and their adult loved ones to share experiences and learn from one another in this monthly group meeting. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

"Ovarian Ablation: Its Implications for Breast Cancer Treatment." Dr. Nicholas Robert, chairman of research at Inova Fairfax Hospital and chair of the United State Oncology Breast Cancer Research Committee, will present an open door lecture on Saturday, Dec. 13, 10 a.m., at George Washington University, Ross Hall, Room 229-901, 23rd Street and I Street N.W., Washington, D.C., next to the GWU Hospital. This presentation will include a discussion on the relative benefits of tamoxifen alone with the addition of ovarian ablation in women with node negative receptor-positive breast cancer. From the Foggy Bottom Metro stop, exit the station, turn right, and take another right down the sidewalk to get to the front entrance of Ross Hall on the left. A photo ID may be required while signing in at the front desk. The event is sponsored by Y-ME National Breast Cancer Organization, National Capital Affiliate, and is free of charge. Y-ME National Capital Area is a breast cancer organization dedicated to ensuring that no one faces breast cancer alone, and provides the 24-hour HOPEline, 703-461-9616, staffed by trained breast-cancer survivors, to provide information and emotional support to callers, as well as one-to-one matches with a survivor who has had a similar experience. Educational programs include open door lectures, brown bag seminars and quarterly newsletters. All services are free. Call 703-461-9595 or e-mail yme1986nca@aol.com for further information and volunteer opportunities.

Individual Reiki Session. On Monday, Dec. 15, schedule an individual session with a certified Reiki practitioner and experience the benefits of this ancient healing practice that involves the placement of hands on the body to direct energy and release tension and discomfort and enhance well-being. Dress comfortably. Registration is limited and necessary by Dec. 12. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Managing Anxiety in Your Life with Cancer. Monday, Dec. 15, 6:30-8 p.m. Oncology wellness counselor Dodi Christiano will help examine triggers and manage anxieties such as those related to appointments, procedures and receiving test results. Register by Dec. 12. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Coping with the holidays after the death of a loved one. Come to this presentation to be given support, encouragement and tools for this difficult time. Come on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 7:30-9 p.m., for Christmas support, or come to both. The meetings will take place at Haven of Northern Virginia, 4606 Ravensworth Road, Annandale, 703-941-7000. Free. Visit www.havenofnova.org.

Young Adults with Cancer. On Tuesday, Dec. 16, 7:30-9 p.m., meet with others ages "18 to 30-something" to discuss issues such as sexuality, dating, body image, work and health insurance concerns, treatment side effects, fears of recurrence and sustaining a normal lifestyle.

Multiple Myeloma Group. Tuesday, Dec. 16, 11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m. To close the year in a mutually nurturing manner, bring food for the body (A-L main dish, M-Z desert or salad) and food for thought (an inspirational thought, quote poem, etc.). R.S.V.P. required. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Lymphedema Group Meeting. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, 7-8:30 p.m., meet with others who have hereditary or secondary lymphedema resulting from surgery, radiation or trauma to the lymphatic system. A certified lymphedema therapist and an oncology counselor will facilitate discussion about physical and emotional concerns. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Suite 203, Room A, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Lung Cancer Group. On Wednesday, Dec. 17, 5:30-7 p.m., join fellow lung cancer patients and family members on the discuss the challenges of living with lung cancer and its treatments. Group meets the third Wednesday of each month. Facilitated by an oncology counselor. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Gifts for the Season. On Thursday, Dec. 18, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., artist Maureen Wolford will assist participants in making beaded key chains, scented eye pillows filled with lavender and peppermint, and beaded sun catchers. Register by Dec. 15. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Suite 203, Room B, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

GYN Cancer Group. On Wednesday, Dec. 19, 5:30-7 p.m., meet with other women diagnosed with ovarian, cervical and endometrial cancers to share experiences and learn from one another. Group facilitated by an oncology counselor and a nurse. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, Room 1E, 2832 Juniper St., in the Merrifield area. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

Good Grief for Teens. For those 13-18 years old, group activities and art therapy will help teenagers share thoughts and feelings about loss and help with the grief process. On Mondays, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Call for upcoming group schedule. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Suite 203, Room B. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org to register.

The Parkinson's Foundation offers weekly support groups (previously located at the Providence Recreation Center) for patients and caregivers. They meet every Tuesday at 10 and 11 a.m., at the Lewinsville Senior Center, 1609 Great Falls St., McLean. Call 703-891-0821 if interested in joining or for more information.

Teens' Educational Support Program. A new eight-week program for youths 13-18 who have a family member who is a cancer patient, is forming for Wednesdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m. Through discussion and activities, participants can express themselves and understand the changes that come when someone in the family has cancer. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Suite 203, Room B, Fairfax. Call 703-208-5623 for upcoming schedule.

Good Grief for Teens. For those 13-18, group activities and art therapy will help teenagers share thoughts and feelings about loss and help with the grief process. On Mondays, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Call for upcoming group schedule. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St., Suite 203, Room B, Fairfax. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org to register.

TLC: Teens Living with Cancer. Monthly social activities for 13- to 18-year-olds who have cancer give them a chance to meet others with cancer, share a little, have fun. Call 703-208-5623 for details. At the Life with Cancer Family Center, 2832 Juniper St, Fairfax. Call 703-698-2841 or visit www.lifewithcancer.org.

HAVEN of Northern Virginia, 4606 Ravensworth Road, Annandale, offers several ongoing free bereavement support groups.

*General bereavement support group for anyone grieving the death of a loved one. Meets the first and third Wednesday of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

*Widow/widower bereavement support group for anyone grieving the death of a spouse. One group meets the first and third Thursday of each month, 2-3:30 p.m., the other on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

*Suicide survivors bereavement support group for anyone grieving the loss of a loved one to suicide meets the first Tuesday of each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

*Early Mother Loss Bereavement Support Group for anyone who lost their mother before the age of 21 meets the third Tuesday each month, 7:30-9 p.m.

Call 703-941-7000 or visit www.havenofnova.org for more information.

Alzheimer’s Association Caregiver Support Groups are facilitated by trained group leaders, ongoing, free and open to the community. Support groups allow families to meet other caregivers, to share experiences and caregiving tips while developing coping skills. Caregivers and family members are invited to visit.

In Oakton, the group meets the third Monday of the month from 7:30 p.m. at Sunrise Senior Living (10322 Blake Lane). Call Betty Moore, group leader, at 703 255-2050 prior to attending for the first time. For a complete listing of Alzheimer’s Association support groups meeting throughout the National Capital Area, call toll-free 1-866-259-0042 or visit www.alz-nca.org. Support groups are subject to change. Contact the support group leader prior to attending for the first time to verify date, time and location.

The Alzheimer's Association of the National Capital Area is starting a new caregiver support group which will meet on the second Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at The Sylvestery, 1728 Kirby Road in McLean. The Sylvestery is Vinson Hall Retirement Community's new assisted living residence for the care of people with memory impairments. Barbara Adams, M.S.W., will be the support group leader .

CHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Hyperactivity Disorder) of Northern Virginia. A support group meets on the second Tuesday of each month, 7:15 p.m., at Dolley Madison Library, 1244 Oak Ridge Ave., McLean. Contact Annette Spector, aspector@der-online.com, with questions. The support group schedule is also posted online at www.novachadd.org. For more information about these and other upcoming meetings, call 703-641-5451 or e-mail nova_chadd@hotmail.com.

The Parkinson's Disease Young Onset Support Group will meet on the first Thursday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Dolley Madison Library lower level meeting room at 1244 Oak Ridge Avenue in McLean. There is no charge. Patients, caregivers and family members are welcome. Call Hilary Blue at 703-821-1393 for more information.

The Northern Virginia Epilepsy Group meets every Wednesday, 7-8 p.m., at the Falls Church High School Career Center, Room 100, 7521 Jaguar Trail.

Life with Cancer Caregivers Meeting. Every Wednesday, 5:30-7 p.m. Meetings for family members to discuss and explore topics of concern including coping strategies, support, information related to cancer and more. Use Blue parking garage. Meetings held at Inova Fairfax Woman's Center, radiation oncology conference room at 3300 Gallows Road in Falls Church. 703-698-2841 for registration and information.

Social Skills/Therapy Groups. In small, age-appropriate groups, children who have difficulty in social situations learn and practice appropriate behavior, such as initiating and maintaining conversation, listening, sharing, problem-solving, self-control, handling teasing, dealing with emotions, and making friends $55-$65 per session. (May be insurance-reimbursable.) For registration, call the Jewish Social Service Agency at 703-204-9100.

HAVEN of Northern Virginia, a nonprofit, all-volunteer organization, needs volunteers to provide emotional support to the bereaved, the seriously ill, the dying and their family and friends. Volunteers must be available during weekdays and must be able to commit to a minimum of 2 1/2 hours a week for phone duty for at least one year. Training is provided and will be offered in September. For additional details and information, call 703-941-7000. Visit www.havenofnova.org.

The Alzheimer's Family Day Center is looking for volunteers. If interested, contact Joan at 703-532-8899 or afdc@alzheimersfdc.org.

Recovery Inc., a nonprofit support group for depression, bipolar disorder and other nervous diseases, meets every Friday at Boulevard Baptist Church, 7000 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. Contact Lee, 703-777-1708.

The American Red Cross is offering Infant and Child CPR at Dunn Loring United Methodist Church, 2501 Gallows Road, from 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. The fee is $40. To enroll, call 703-964-0004 or visit www.redcrossnca.org.

Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent Today. A chance to make a difference in a child’s life. Call Fairfax County’s Foster Care and Adoption Program at 703-324-7639.

Amputee Support Group of Northern Virginia. A support group for amputees, their families and friends. Meetings are held the first Tuesday of every month, 7:30-9 p.m., at Inova Fairfax Hospital, Physician's Conference Center, Room 1D, first floor, 3300 Gallows Road, Falls Church. There is no cost to participants, and parking is provided free in the garage for cars displaying handicapped placards or license plates. Contact Irvin Axelrod at 703-222-7120 or e-mail asgnva@earthlink.net for more information.

Depression and Manic Depression Support Group. The Sterling/Reston Chapter of DRADA, meets the first and third Tuesdays of the month, 7-9 p.m. For location, contact Traci at 703-433-1448 or Jan at 703-669-5177. DRADA stands for Depressive and Related Affective Disorders Association, a nonprofit, self-help group sponsored by Johns Hopkins, which has been in existence for over 20 years.

Virginia Health Information (VHI). VHI, a nonprofit, independent organization, has published information on its Web site, www.vhi.org, reporting on the in-patient cardiac care provided at all licensed hospitals in Virginia. The information compares their performance and mortality outcomes. VHI’s study is based on over 100,000 cardiac patient discharges submitted by Virginia hospitals for the year 2000.

Shoplifters Anonymous. Group offers a new 12-step meeting program for those who wish to stop compulsive shoplifting. The group meets every Thursday, 7-8 p.m., at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 7426 Idylwood Road. Call Sue at 703-759-0396 or Carol at 703-764-0347 to confirm the meeting date.