Cancer Connection offers programs and support free of charge for men, women and children living with a cancer diagnosis, their families and friends. Registration is required, even if you have participated before. You are welcome to attend as many programs as you would like, based on space availability. Priority for our programs is given to those currently in treatment.


Many classes can accept new participants, even if the class has already started. Call today to ask about joining! All programs, unless noted, are held at Cancer Connection, 41 Locust Street in Northampton.


Creativity & Healing

Exercise & Physical Activity

Mindfulness and Self Care

Thursdays at Cancer Connection



All participants need to provide a note from a doctor every 12 months to participate in vigorous exercise activities, including Pilates, Aqua Aerobics and Rowing. Doctor’s notes may be faxed at any time to (413) 280 - 0223.



Creativity & Healing Programs


Couples Communication Workshop

with Nancy Knudsen, LMFT

Saturday, May 20, 1:00 - 5:00 PM

This introductory program guides partners to become more attuned, trusting, and open with each other and to more easily handle the day-to-day stress of dealing with cancer alongside more ordinary concerns. Based on the book Hold Me Tight by Dr Susan Johnson. All experiential exercises are conducted between partners to maintain personal privacy and sense of safety.



with Wendy Sinton

Mondays, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Knitting can be meditative, relaxing and a lot of fun. Come learn how to knit and purl at your own pace. This class is appropriate for new or returning knitters. No experience necessary!


Clay for Pleasure

with Valerie Gilman, MFA

Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, begins Mar 14

Wellspring Neurotherapy, Hadley, MA

The Wellspring offices are located at 104 Russell St., Hadley, MA 01035

Clay is a material that has endless possibilities for expression and everyone does it differently. Get your mind off things, laugh with others and explore simple techniques for creation. Val offers suggestions and demonstrates skills as she encourages and supports you to follow your creative impulse. No experience is required. A full selection of tools is available. There will be kiln firings near the end of the class. There are no potter’s wheels available.


Improvisational Acting

with Bev Boykan

Thursdays, 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Greenfield Savings Bank, Northampton

Have fun learning the craft of improvisational acting by playing with others through warm-up exercises, performance games and basic short-form scene work in a highly supportive, creative atmosphere.


Spirit of the Written Word

with Pam Roberts

Tuesdays, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, begins March 14

Open yourself to the transformational power of writing as a tool for healing and connecting with yourself and others. Pam provides “prompts” (perhaps a word, phrase or object) as inspiration and starting point for writing. Writing within the safe, confidential confines of the group feels therapeutic, but we focus on our writing.


Summer Container Garden

June 10, 2017 from 10 AM - 12:00 PM, with Priscilla Touhey

Create a beautiful outdoor garden for your home. All supplies and tools provided.


Exercise and Physical Activity Programs


Music & (gentle) Movement

with Robin Diamond, MSN

2nd & 4th Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Winter calendar may differ to avoid holidays and weather conditions. Please contact Cancer Connection to register and stay updated with the schedule.

This joyful, upbeat movement class with a variety of music accommodates everyone. No dance or yoga experience required.


Gentle Yoga - See "Thursdays at Cancer Connection" and Watch for Updates

This spring we are offering four sessions of yoga in our Thursday afternoon time slot. We will be adding new gentle yoga programs as the year progresses. Please check the website or call for current information.


Music & (gentle) Movement

with Robin Diamond, MSN

2nd & 4th Thursdays, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Improve your well-being through a combination of balance, stretching, physical movement and music appreciation. This class accommodates everyone. No dance or yoga experience required.


Pilates *Rebuilding your core strength and balance

with Rosalie Peri, RN, CPT

Saturdays, Mar 18 - May 6, 9:00 - 10:00 AM

Strengthen core muscles in a safe, effective way. Increase joint mobility and the ability to move with less discomfort. Adapts to all abilities.


aqua aerobics flyerAqua Aerobics *with Valley Swim School

Mar 27 - May 17, Mondays, 5:00 - 5:45 PM & Wednesdays, 6:00 - 6:45 PM

JFK Middle School, Florence

Stretching and low-impact aerobics can be as gentle or as strenuous as you want.

You don't need to get your head wet or know how to swim.

Flotation devices and lift into the pool provided.

 (if you'd like a copy of the flyer - click on the image to the left) 




Indoor Rowing *

Monday, May 15 & Wednesday, May 17, 5:45 - 7:00 PM

Learn the basics of rowing indoors where it is warm. We will teach the basic rowing stroke that can transfer to rowing on the water as well as work on fitness and conditioning. A great class to take before signing up for rowing on the river.


Rowing on the Connecticut River *

Mondays & Wednesdays, 5:45 - 7:00 PM

May 22 through June 28

Experience the power and grace of rowing on the river in a four- or eight-person shell or rowing barge. Learn with each other to use your body and leverage to propel a shell safely and effectively across the water. We will review basic rowing technique and work on strength and conditioning for rowing. Teamwork will help you try a new sport and push yourself further than you thought you could. Will adapt for limited physical ability.


Kayak 3/4 Day Trip *

Sunday, July 9, starting at 10:00 AM

We will paddle gently down the Connecticut River in a combination of recreational and sea kayaks, exploring local flora, fauna and history along the way. The exact length of the trip will be determined once we speak to each participant prior to the trip. Bring your own lunch. While super strength is not required, people whose strength is limited by treatment should not participate.

Mindfulness & Self Care Programs


Farm Retreat at High Horse Hill

June 3, 11:00 AM - 2:00 PM, with Katey Grey

Visit the therapy horses and the organic garden.

Requires special form and doctor’s note in advance. Click here to access.


Self-Care Reiki Level One Training

Saturdays, 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

March 25, April 8, and April 22

with Nancy Carter-Price, Usui/Tibetan & Karuan Reiki Master/Teacher

Learn how to give Reiki to yourself. Reiki is an amazing tool for the overall health benefits it has to offer the patient and the caregiver. Patients can reduce stress, anxiety and the negative effects of treatments. Caregivers/support people can replenish their vitality, allowing for more clear focus and more energy for their caregiving role. Please register by March 16.


A Mindful Practice for Well Being

with Pierre Zimmerman, MS

Mondays, 4:30 - 6:00 PM, begins March 27

Cancer Connection, Northampton


Tuesdays, 10:00 - 11:30 AM, begins March 28

South Congregational Church, Amherst

This 8-week class is based on the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program developed by Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD. The quality and practice of mindfulness can open you to a greater sense of connection to your inner life and the life around you, as well as a calmness that will help you better cope with stress, pain, illness and worry. Yoga exercises, meditation skills and audio recording for home practice included.


NEW - Monthly Mindfulness Practice

with Pierre Zimmerman, MS

Mondays, 6:30 - 8:00 PM

First Monday of the month = March 6, April 3 and May 1, 2017

By popular request, Pierre will facilitate a monthly group for those who have completed a mindfulness class at Cancer Connection, or elsewhere, who wish to practice mindful meditation with others.


Health & Vitality Group

with Linda Tumbarello, LMHC

2nd & 4th Mondays, 6:30 - 8:00 PM

Linda provides guidance to kindly reconnect and care for yourself during and after treatment. Each meeting includes a guided relaxation to regain comfort and ease in your body and time to share mutual support and helpful resources. Suitable for those in treatment as well as those who have completed treatment.


Thursdays at Cancer Connection

Thursday afternoons in our living room.


March 23 - Breast Cancer Research in Western Massachusetts

3:30 - 5:00 PM with Rachel Walker, UMass College of Nursing

Bring your questions and get updates on research being conducted at our local institutions, including UMass Amherst and the Rays of Hope Center for Breast Cancer Research.


March 30 & April 13 - Integrative Yoga Sampler

2:30 - 5:00 PM with Judy Messer

Experience a sampling of holistic, integrative yoga practices, including visual meditations and supported restorative poses that can serve as sweetness and power during a cancer experience.


April 6 - Tap Your Creative Source for Health

2:30 - 4:00 PM with Val Gilman

Drop into your own creative unconscious to find the imagery and tools you need for your healing process. We will play with a variety of prompts, then work independently. No art experience required; all materials provided.


April 20 - The “One Good Thing” Box

3:00 - 5:00 PM with Katey Grey

All materials will be provided for you to produce a container to hold symbols and objects that support your healing journey.


April 27 - Introduction to Hypnosis for Healing

2:30 - 5:00 PM with H. Manning Curtis, MD

Learn about a variety of methods for reducing stress and engaging in your treatment and healing in a positive way. This program includes an introduction to self-hypnosis and intentional trance techniques.


May 4 - Introduction to Paradise City Dragon Boat

2:30 - 3:30 PM with Betsy Powell and experienced paddlers

Learn about this new group rowing program here in Northampton! Coach Betsy Powell and experienced participants will answer your questions.


May 11 & 25 - Expressing OurSelves: Moving with Breath for Sustainable Health

2:30 - 5:00 PM with Alison Wright-Tany, MA

Caregivers and those with a diagnosis will learn compassionate, gentle stretching movements that nourish, activate, and strengthen your immune system and heart spaces.


May 18 - Mandalas on Rocks

2:30 - 5:30 PM with Christine Southworth

Enter a flow state of creativity through meditative art-making as you learn to make painted mandalas on rocks. All materials provided.


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If you are out of treatment, but are still looking for some emotional support or a reason to get up and move, consider the following programs:


 ■ Knitting (Mondays)

 ■ Monthly Mindfulness Practice (Mondays)

 ■ Health & Vitality Group (Mondays)

 ■ Music & Gentle Movement (Thursdays)

 ■ Improvisational Acting (Thursdays)


Registration is required for all programs, even if you have signed up before. When you register for a program, please make a note on your calendar and let us know if your plans change. There may be others waiting who could join. Call to Register: (413) 586-1642


New 2015 Rays logo

Major funding of our programs and integrative therapies

is provided by Rays of Hope.