Breast Cancer Survivor Offers Classes to Peers
By Cynthia Cheng

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Breast Cancer Survivor Offers Classes to Peers

Stacey Tinianov was diagnosed with breast cancer in May 2013. The cancer is currently in remission. She left her job in the high-tech industry a year ago, and when she regained her strength, she wanted a career change. Today Tinianov is a community engagement and advocacy consultant who seeks to educate cancer patients about how to empower themselves.

Tinianov is teaching a one-meeting class at Santa Clara's Parks and Recreation Department called, "Survivorship: What's Next?" on Thursday, May 28 from 6-8 p.m.

"The class didn't exist for me when I needed it," Tinianov says. "When your oncologist says the cancer's gone, there's a sense you're supposed to be relieved and thrilled, and then you move on with your life. The reality is there are many emotional intricacies that come with a cancer diagnosis and a cancer treatment."

Tinianov acknowledges the concerns cancer survivors might have about recurrences of the disease or fears of metastasis, the spreading of a cancer outside the area it was found. Although the survivorship class is not intended to be a support group, the class will allow students to form bonds with one another, as personal stories are expected to be shared. Students will also work on a survivorship plan. Interested individuals can register for "Survivorship: What's Next?" by visiting online.activecommunities.com/santaclara

This spring, Tinianov will also be teaching "Overwhelmed to Empowered" to two separate classes at the Central YMCA located in San Jose. Here, students can also talk about experiences. Goals of the class include helping students understand that they are not their disease, that the experience of having cancer shouldn't define them.

"It's about deciding what kind of patients they are, and what patients they want to be," Tinianov says. "You can be a victim, you can be a warrior, and you can be an active observer, where you nominate someone to make the decisions for you. You want to identify the things that make you feel overwhelmed, and once you identify those things, then you can start to remedy them."

"Overwhelmed to Empowered," held at Central YMCA at the Alameda, will start Wednesday, May 6 from 6-7:30 PM. This is a three-week course, also meeting on May 13 and May 20. The second class starts on Thursday, May 7 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., and it also meets on May 14 and May 21.

For more information about "Overwhelmed to Empowered," or to register, call the Central YMCA at 408-298-1717.