We encourage you to participate in any group or class that fits your needs. If you would like to learn more about our groups and classes, please call 630-323-5150 and ask to speak to an Oncology Support Counselor.


If you are NEW to Wellness House, please complete the Wellness House Participation Form

Please call Wellness House at 630-3123-5150 if you would like to register for programs and are new to Wellness House.

To register for these programs, please go the Sign In and Register button on the homepage of this site.

*Special Events 

Hot Topics in Prostate Cancer 2015


If you have been diagnosed with prostate cancer or care about someone who has, then please join us for Hot Topics in Prostate Cancer 2015.  This is your opportunity to join many of the top medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and surgeons in the Chicagoland area to learn about the latest updates in the treatment of prostate cancer.

For more information, please see our program calendar.

Introduction Programs

Welcome to Wellness Orientation

Tuesdays, 5:30PM

Wednesdays, 9:30AM

Saturdays, July 18, August 15 and September 19, 9:30AM

Drop by - No registration necessary

New to Wellness House?  Join us for this informal orientation meeting that provides an overview of programs, a tour of facility and chance to meet staff.  This meeting is an opportunity for newcomers to learn more about the ways to benefit from Wellness House.

Top Doc Lecture Series

Ask the Blood and Stem Cell Transplant Experts

Saturday, June 20, 9:00AM-2:00PM Registration Required

Blood and Marrow Transplant Information Network Please join us for this special panel of speakers.

Dr. John P. Galvin, MD/MS/MPH

Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center

Dr. Galvin is a Hematologist/Oncologist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and an Instructor in Medicine-Hematology/Oncology and Microbiology-Immunology.


Dr. Patrick J. Stiff, MD

Loyola Medicine, Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center

Dr. Patrick Stiff is a hematologist / oncologist in Maywood. He is a cancer specialist trained in blood disorders and the medical treatment of malignancies


Dr. Damiano Rondelli, MD

University of Illinois

College of Medicine at Chicago

Division of Hematology and Oncology

Dr. Damiano Rondelli is a Professor of Medicine and Director of Stem Cell Transplant Program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.


Sue Stewart, Executive Director

Bone Marrow Transplant InfoNet

Susan K. Stewart underwent a bone marrow transplant in 1989 and now directs BMT InfoNet, a non-profit organization that provides information and support services to bone marrow, stem cell and cord blood transplant patients and their loved ones.  She is the author of several award-winning patient guides and has been honored by the Leukemia & Lymphomas Society, the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation and others for her work on behalf of transplant patients and survivors.

Strategies to Manage Chemotherapy Related Sleep Issues

Tuesday, June 23, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Lori Lovitz, MD

Northshore University Health System 

Radiation Treatments for Lung Cancer

Tuesday, July 21, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Maria Quejada, MD and Neil DasGupta, MD

Edward Cancer Center's Multidisciplinary Thoracic Oncology Clinic

Cyberknife Treatment for Brain Tumors

Tuesday, August 11, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Arica Hirsch, MD

Illinois Cyberknife at Advocate Lutheran General

*This lecture will take place in lieu of the Brain Tumor Networking Group

Current Management of Pancreatic Cancer: Panel Presentation

Thursday, August 20, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Rameez Alasadi, MD, Ciairan Bradley, MD and Janet Chin, MD

DuPage Medical Group

Importance of Complementary Medicine

Thursday, August 27, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Arti Lakhani, MD

Adventist Hinsdale Hospital

Precision Medicine for All

Tuesday, September 17, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Olufunmilayo I. Olopade, MD, FACP

Walter L. Palmer Distinguished Service

Professor of Medicine and Human Genetics

Associate Dean, Global Health

Director, Center for Clinical Cancer Genetics

University of Chicago Medicine

Information and Education

From Cancer to Health: A Stress Management and Coping Program

Session 1: (focus on communication & problem solving): Tuesdays, August 4-25, 1:00-2:30PM

Session 2: (focus on relationships): Tuesdays, September 8-29 , 1:00-2:30PM

Session 3: (focus on nutrition and health): Tuesdays, October 6-27, 1:00-2:30PM

Registration Required Attendance at all three sessions is not required but is suggested.

Learn the skills and strategies needed to reduce your risk of recurrence as much as possible in this program.  You will learn how to improve your communication and problem solving skills, improve your relationships, eat healthier and improve your emotional and physical health.  From Cancer to Health was developed at The Ohio State University and backed by the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society.

This program is for any adult with any type of cancer who has been staged I-III and who has been recently diagnosed within the past nine months.  Participants in this program may choose to be a part of a dissemination research study.

Managing the Side Effects of Cancer Treatments with a Natural Approach

Thursday, June 18, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Jack Weber, DC, Brannick Clinic

Chemotherapy is one of the most stressful and toxic events that the body ever experiences.  Information provided in this workshop will introduce natural approaches to some of the most common problems that occur during and after treatment.  Some of the topics covered will be overcoming fatigue, supporting hair and nail growth, pain relief, optimal digestion and immunity support.  Learn how to combat these side effects and optimize health with safe, effective and affordable natural approaches.

Securing Your Preference: Where Do Advance Directives Fit In?

Thursday, June 25, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Mary F. Mulcahy, MD and Randi Belisomo, Life Matters Media

Mary and Randi will explain the many types of advance directives, their various levels of appropriateness for differing populations and their corresponding levels of legality.  Living Wills, Five Wishes, and POLST will be explained.  Both Mary and Randi are members of POLST Illinois Task Force, uniquely positioned to discuss this medical order newly available to certain patients.  Differences between health directive and medical orders will be explored.

Social Security Disability: Change and Confusion 

Tuesday, July 14, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Jeffrey Rabin, Attorney at Law

Law Offices of Rabin, Kodner & Brown

During this "no-legal" presentation,  Attorney Rabin explains the different Social Security disability laws and programs, reviews how Social Security analyzes claims and how to prepare so that the strongest ask possible is made to the Social Security Administration.  Attorney Rabin explains the application process and how months can be shaved from the processing time.  Practical hints are provided in how to deal with the bureaucracy, how to communicate with treating physicians, and how to minimize the chance of delays and lost files.  Finally, the rules regarding how to return to work while on SSDI and SSI are outlined so that people receiving benefits will have accurate information when making the step back into the work force.  This discussion will de-mystify the application and appeals process, and provide people with disabilities the information they need to protect and assert their rights under the Social Security Act.  This is intended to be an open discussion between Attorney Rabin and the audience.

Clean Eating Workshop to Aid in Illness Prevention and Treatment

Tuesday, August 4, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Denis Marier, ND, MA

National University of Health Sciences

Learn what foods are the most nutrient dense and beneficial to aid in illness prevention and treatment.  In this interactive lecture with naturopathic doctor Denis Marier, you will learn how to implement these foods into delicious and healthy meals while sampling a few recipes.

Book Club: Finding Inner Courage 

Thursdays, August 6-September 24, 1:00-2:00PM Registration Required

Val Piazza, LCPC

A weekly reading list will be provided and can be obtained prior to class by emailing the facilitator vpiazza@wellnesshouse.org.  Poet and philosopher Mark Nepo was diagnosed with a rate form of lymphoma in 1987.  His journey back to health awakened a new life.  His insights and commentary are spot on and readers relate the stories of others to their own.  Please join us for readings and discussions of this wise and inspirational book.

A Workshop in Energy Medicine

Thursday, August 6, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Cindy Berryman

Certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner 

While disease is diagnosed and treated, energy medicine assesses and corrects energy systems in the body that are out of balance.  In this workshop, participants will learn what energy medicine is and its impact on health and techniques you can do to keep your energies flowing.

Chemical Free Cleaning in a Toxic World: Workshop for Chemical Free Cleaning Solutions

Tuesday, August 11, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Laurie Williams

Heal and Live Better

In this workshop, Laurie will discuss the benefits and options for chemical free living teaching participants how to make safe cleaning products.  Laurie is an expert in eliminating toxins from everyday products, and is an outspoken advocate of safety in product labeling laws.  Her focus is on the impact of these toxins as they relate to cancer, special needs, chronic pain and allergies.

Getting Out of Our Minds and Into Our Lives

Tuesday, August 18, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Maigenete Mengesha, Counseling Psychology, PhD

Uncertainty, anxiety and fear are commonly experienced by people with cancer.  These emotions can consume our minds and seemingly take control of our actions, behaviors, and our lives.  This presentation provides an opportunity to explore skills that will allow you to reach acceptance of the difficult emotions triggered by cancer while also experiencing feelings of joy, pleasure, and happiness; ultimately working to reclaim and enhance your life.

Job Search Strategies

Tuesday, August 25, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Kimberly White, Executive Director

Becky Brillon, Program Director

Community Career Center

Perhaps treatment required a step back from your job or career.  Perhaps you're not sure about what to say to an employer about a gap in your resume during the time you were fighting for your life.  Perhaps you're at the point where you need to reassess life/work balance and find a new job that will work for you.  This workshop will address the stages of job search and help you make a plan to move forward, ready with the right tools and thoughts about how to successfully land a new job.

Caring Options: Palliative Care, Hospice, Comfort and Dignity

Monday, August 31, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Mary Mulcahy, MD and Randi Belisomo

Life Matters Media

In this session, attendees will learn how to receive for themselves and give loved ones available care options as we:

  • discuss advances and the comprehensive services available with early palliative care 
  • dispel common myths about hospice care and explain what it is intended to do
  • explore barriers that stand in the way of opting for comfort care vs. curative therapy
  • empower attendees to ask their doctor about all available end of life care options

Please see our program calendar for more information on this program.

Simple Exercises for Stress Reduction

Wednesday, September 9, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Dolores Bjorkman, RN, LCSW, BHSP

DJB Counseling & Consultation

This session will teach you simple exercises for calming the body and the mind that you can easily incorporate into your daily life.  The exercises were developed by internationally recognized healer, Donna Eden and focus on the energy meridians.

The Way We Move and the Effects of Cancer Treatment on Us:

Moving through and from our Aches and Pains

Monday, September 14, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Andrew Nowak, PT, D.P.T. LANA C.L.T Supervisor

Outpatient Physical Medicine, Good Samaritan Hospital

Thoughts about our body in motion, its pain, dysfunction during survivorship, the amazing things it does for us, and most importantly, how to make it feel as well as function better.

Renew Your Reiki

Wednesday, September 16, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Jane Van De Velde, DNP, RN, Reiki Master Teacher

The Reiki Share Project

Join us to renew your Reiki practice.  This program is for students of Reiki who have taken a class at Wellness House or with other teachers.  Master Teacher, Jane Van De Velde will review basic concepts, answer questions, encourage storytelling and guide you in offering Reiki to yourself and to a partner.

Forgiveness: Lighten Your Load

Tuesday, September 22, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Michael Williams, PsD, Clinical Psychologist

Carrying the burden of past injuries, recent or old, while also experiencing cancer makes the going harder.  Learn how to lighten your load through various types of forgiveness to free up energy and help you cope better with whatever your cancer experience is.

Employment, The Law and Cancer

Thursday, September 24, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Cathy Bagnell, Human Resources Manager, Wellness House

In this comprehensive overview, Cathy will cover the rights and protections provided by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to employees who have been diagnosed with cancer (including caregivers) in the workplace.

The Power of the Written Word: An Open Door to Healing

Tuesday, September 29, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Suzanne Pecoraro, LCSW

Amita Health, Adventist Health Partners

Through the experience of traumatic life events, we share so many connections and experiences.  We share the feeling of being overwhelmed by our life experience and by our emotions; we want to make sense of the events in our lives; we share the desire to be seen and valued for who we really are; and we want to live a full life aligned with our new identity.  Though memoir, poetry and journaling we transform our thoughts, our inner voice and experiences.  Writing has the ability to guide us to a deeper understanding our own voice.  Through this program, you will learn how journaling will help the healing process.  Participants will receive a journal.  

For more information on this program, please see the program calendar.

Look Good Feel Better

Monday, July 13       2:00-4:00PM Registration Required

Monday, August 3    2:00-4:00PM Registration Required

Monday, September 2:00-4:00PM Registration Required

Spend some time with others in active treatment learning how to manage hair, nail and skin changes due to cancer treatment.  

*Sponsored by the American Cancer Society


Moving Forward: Survivorship Health and Wellness Programs 

Weigh to Go! Managing Weight after Cancer

Monday, August 10-September 21, 1:00-2:30PM Registration Required

Both educational and experiential, this 6-week series is for cancer survivors who have completed treatment.  Many cancer survivors struggle with weight related issues following cancer treatments.  This program explores the psychological aspects and the behavioral changes needed for healthy weight management.  Each session will provide a supportive group environment where individuals will be guided to understand their readiness to change and use their interests, goals, and needs to create a personal Lifestyle Change Plan.

Life after Cancer: Your Personal Meaning of Survivorship

Thursdays, August 6-August 27, 2:00-3:30PM Registration Required

Kelly Huggins, LCSW

Most cancer survivors are concerned about their cancer coming back.  The fear of recurrence is a normal fear.  In this presentation, we will address some common questions and concerns people may have when thinking about their cancer returning and strategies to manage this anxiety.

Healthy Living

Sidelining Side Effects

Monday, July 16, 5:30-6:30PM     Registration Required

Tuesday, July 21, 10:00-11:00AM Registration Required

Tuesday, August 4, 1:00-2:00PM  Registration Required

Monday, August 17, 5:30-6:30PM Registration Required

Tuesday, September 8, 3:00-4:00PM Registration Required

Monday, September 21, 10:00-11:00AM Registration Required

Designed specifically for individuals undergoing or about to begin treatment, this class will focus on nutrition and lifestyle strategies to minimize and prevent the following side effects:

  • Low Appetite or Excessive Weight Loss
  • Taste Changes or Lack of Taste
  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Diarrhea & Constipation
  • Dry/Sore Mouth or Throat & Thick Saliva

Cooking Up Wellness

Saturdays July 11, August 8, September 12 10:30AM-12:00PM Registration Required

Tuesdays, July 28, August 25, September 22 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Learn to appreciate real, fresh foods and simple culinary principles for cancer prevention and survivorship.  This class and cooking demonstration will feature recipes to help participants deliciously incorporate cancer-fighting foods into a diet for optimal health.

Each class features NEW recipes!


Food for Life

Thursdays, September 3-24, 12:30-2:00PM Registration Required

Adrienne Felder, MA LCPC, Professional Chef, The Cancer Project

Empower yourself with easy-to-learn skills that turn every meal into a delicious dose of healthy nutrition.  Each session focuses on a different aspect of scientifically sound basics of a cancer fighting diet.  

For more information, please see our program calendar.   

Cancer Nutrition 201: Taking the Next Steps to Building Your Plant Based Diet

Mondays, July 13-August 3, 5:30-6:30PM Registration Required

Anita Ratterman, RD, CSO, LDN

As a follow-up to Cancer Nutrition 101, expand your knowledge of a whole food, plant based diet.  Inspired by "The Campbell Plan" by Thomas Campbell, MD and other plant based literature, you will learn the tools to improve your health.

Stress Management  

Stress Free Saturday

Saturday, July 11 & 25, August 8 & 22, September 12 & 26 9:30-10:30AM Registration Required

Experience the benefits of starting your weekend stress free. Come to this class to learn about and practice mindfulness and meditation. 

Healing and the Spirit Connection Guided Meditation

Mondays, September 14 - October 5, 6:30-7:30PM Registration Required

Bridget Juister, LAc., B Holistic

This series will teach specific meditations to support the healing process.  Whether you're undergoing cancer treatment currently in remission, or want to support your loved ones-meditation can empower your healing potential.  In this class, you'll learn how to apply four healing powers along with healing energies such as light, movement and sound, to promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

Wellness through Deep Hypnosis

Saturdays, June 20, July 18, August 15, September 19   10:00AM-12:00PM Registration Required

Dr. Scot Giles, renowned medical hypnotherapist, guides the group through self-hypnosis designed to help release pain and facilitate healing. Space is limited.  

Guided Meditation 

Mondays, June 8-29, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

This series will teach specific meditations to support the healing process.  Whether you're undergoing cancer treatment, currently in remission, or want to support your loved ones-meditation can empower your healing potential.  In this class, you'll learn how to apply four healing powers (images, words, feelings and beliefs) along with healing energies such as light, movement, and sound, to promote mental, emotional, and physical well-being.

~Expressive Arts~  

Paper Arts

Tuesdays, July 21-August 4, 1:00-2:30PM Registration Required

Explore the fun, versatile medium of paper as we create origami, collage and more.  No experience necessary.

Textile Printing

Fridays, August 21-September 11, 12:00-2:00PM Registration Required


Family Matters

Family Picnic and Social

Wednesday, June 24, 5:30-7:30PM Registration Required

Come kick off the summer with an evening of food and fun for the whole family with fellow Wellness House participants.  Bring along children, grandchildren and friends to spend time together and play games.  We will provide dinner and entertainment for all ages - all you have to do is show up!   

Mindful Parents, Mindful Children

Wednesday, August 5, 4:30-6:30PM Registration Required

Children ages 6-14 and their family members will learn, experientially, the basics benefits and beginning practices of living a more mindful life.  Research shows, this ancient practice, continues to be a valuable, life changing, life affirming way of living.  We can teach our children, as well as ourselves how to "pay attention" and live life fully, even when facing the most challenging experiences.

Family Game Night

Wednesday, September 2, 6:00-7:30PM Registration Required  

Come have fun with your entire family!  Family game night is fun for everyone and will feature games you know and games that are new to your family.   Snacks will be provided.  The event is for families with children 4 and up as well as those who are young at heart.        


Kids Kamp

Monday-Friday, July 6-10, 9:00AM-12:00PM Registration Required 

Join us for your annual Kids Kamp for those 5-12 years old.  It's an opportunity to participate in fun summer activities, meet other children who have experienced cancer in the family build confidence, and simply HAVE FUN! 

Kids Yoga

Fridays, July 17-August 14, 9:30-10:30AM Registration Required 

Kids Connecting

Wednesday, July 22, 9:00AM-1:00PM Registration Required

This one day event is designed to help kids feel connected to other kids feel connected to other kids who have a loved one with cancer. Throughout the day we will learn more about cancer, talk about our feelings surrounding cancer and share coping strategies.  This day is designed to be FUN, interactive, and help kids feel that they are not alone. 


Guiding Kids Through a Loved One's Cancer

Saturday, July 18, 10:00-11:00AM Registration Required ~ presentation held at the Hinsdale Public Library

Wednesday, July 22, 7:00-8:00PM Registration Required~presentation held at the Thomas Ford Library

Telling children about a loved one's cancer can be a challenging topic for many families.  Whether it is a parent, grandparent, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, friend or any loved one, it is important for kids to feel connected.  Come to this interactive discussion on sharing information about cancer with children.  Topics include: ways to talk to children about a love one having cancer of the loss of a loved one to cancer, common developmental responses, and ideas for supporting children in expressing their emotions surrounding cancer. 


Couples Post Treatment Support Group: 6 week series

Mondays, July 20-August 24 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

This new couples support group is an opportunity for anyone post-treatment of any kind of cancer and their partner to meet with others to share information, offer encouragement and support both people in a relationship transition into this new experience.  This group provides an opportunity for both partners in a relationship to discuss how cancer has affected and continues to affect their relationship.  All couples will gain tools and strategies to improve and strengthen their relationship.

How to Have a Stress-Reducing Conversation 

Wednesday, July 22, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

It can be very difficult to listen to your partner talk about stress without trying to fix the problem.  Are you able to just listen and support?  Or, do you try to fix the problem?  Bring your partner and learn the techniques involved in having a stress-reducing conversation with your partner.  The purpose of this exercise is to assist you in the management of daily external stress, stress that comes from outside the relationship.

Tips and Tools for Couples Facing Cancer Together 

Wednesday, August 5, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Come hear about the common issues couples experience during a cancer journey such as how to manage stress and improve communication.

Couples Date Night

Wednesday, August 19, 6:30-8:30PM Registration Required

Back by popular demand.  Bring your significant other and make it a date night.  Couples will spend the evening enjoying food, drink, and simply having fun.

Couples Saturday Retreat 

Saturday, August 22, 9:30-12:30PM Registration Required

Join us for a couple's retreat to deepen your friendship, reconnect and learn skills to improve communication with your partner.  Lunch will be provided. 

The Seven Principles for Making a Marriage Work

Mondays, September 7-October 26, 6:30-8:30PM Registration Required

This program is based upon Dr. Gottman's book "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work".  Throughout this class, you and your partner will learn new strategies for strengthening your relationship.  Couples will learn how to improve communication and learn specific tools to strengthen their friendship, manage conflict, and create shared meaning together. 

Deepening Friendship and Intimacy

Wednesday, September 23, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Give your relationship the gift of uninterrupted time to ask your partner questions that open the heart.  Do you know the answers to these questions?

Support and Networking 

GIST Chicago Life Raft Group

Sunday, September 13, 12:30-3:30PM Registration Required

Wellness House is hosting this group, organized by the Chicago area chapter of the Life Raft Group.  This group is for anyone diagnosed with GIST and their caregivers.

Caregivers Guide to Self-Care Dinner Workshop

Tuesday,September 29, 6:00-8:00PM Registration Required

This workshop will focus on the "Care" needs of Caregivers that include physical, emotional, social and spiritual realms, and each participant will begin to develop their own Caregiver Care Plan.  Dinner will be provided.