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


To register for these programs, please go the Sign In and Register button on the homepage of this site. (follow the prompts to set up a login and password if this is your first time registering online)  

*Special Events 

Parenting Tips: Through & Beyond Cancer ~ Jim Higley, The Bobblehead Dad

Wednesday, October 21, 6:00-7:00PM 

Registration Required

Join us for an evening with Jim Higley as he talks about fatherhood, parenting and cancer.  Jim Higley is an author, blogger, podcaster and much more.  Find out more about him at www.bobbleheaddad.com.

Julia Sweeney: God Said, HA!  

Thursday, November 12, 7:00 - 8:30PM

Registration Required


1995 was, for Julia Sweeney, a truly horrible year.  She got a divorce (amicable), bought a small bungalow in Hollywood, and looked forward to a life that said, "Here dwells a happily single young woman!"  But then the ax fell.  Her younger brother Mike, was diagnosed with terminal cancer and moved in with her.  Her parents came to be with Mike - and moved in with her.  Suddenly, her tiny bungalow for one was filled to the rafters with Sweeneys.  Here she was sleeping on her pull-out sofa bed while her father walked around with his Walkman on all day, and her mother marveled at Julia's lack of such staples as stroganoff mixes.  Every day was spent bringing Mike to and from chemotherapy, every evening watching "Chicago Hope" or "ER".  Just weeks before Mike died, Julia was diagnosed with a rare form of cervical cancer-what Mike called her "sympathy cancer"-and within days of burying her brother, she underwent a radical hysterectomy, beginning her own journey through " the International House of Cancer."  From these Job-like travails, Julia has written a remarkably funny and touching memoir about a family, in extremis that manages to persevere with humor, grace and love.

Brookfield Zoo Tree Decoration Making    

Tuesday, November 17, 9:00AM-12:00PM

Drop-ins Welcome

We will be decorating ornaments for our Wellness House Holiday Tree to be displayed at Brookfield Zoo.  Stop by anytime this morning to help create decorations that represent all of Wellness House.

Top Doc Lecture Series 

Gynecological Cancer Treatment Updates

Thursday, October 8, 7:00-8:30PM

Registration Required

Nikki Neubauer, MD, Gynecological Oncologist

Gynecologic Cancer Institute of Chicago

Dr. Neubauer will provide updates from the Society of Gynecological Cancers Annual Meeting that took place in March and will share new advances in Gynecological Oncology.

Ready, Set, Slow! Somatuline Depot (Ianreodite) Injection

Saturday, October 10, 10:30AM-12:30PM

Registration Required

Lisa Francisco, RN, BSN, Oncology Clinical Nurse Educator

Ipsen Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.

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

Lisa Francisco will provide an educational session on Somatuline Depot (Ianreotide) Injection. The material presented will include product, disease state and Ipsen Cares information and will be consistent with the FDA-approved Prescribing Information for Somatuline Depot.  


Introduction Programs

Welcome to Wellness Orientation

Wednesdays, 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.

Information and Education

From Cancer to Health: A Stress Management and Coping Program

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

Session 1: (focus on stress and problem solving): Tuesdays, January 5-26, 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.

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.

Book Club: Tuesdays with Morrie

Tuesdays, October 6-November 10, 2:00-3:00PM Registration Required

A weekly reading list will be provided and can be obtained prior to class by emailing vpiazza@wellnesshouse.org.

Originally published in 1997, the message Tuesdays with Morrie carries is timeless.  Maybe it was a grandparent, teacher, colleague, older person patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advise to help you make your way through it.  For Mitch Albom, that person was Morrie Schwartz, his college professor from nearly 20 years ago with whom he reunites at a critical time in both their lives.  This is the story of their weekly Tuesday visits, rekindling relationships, and final lessons in how to live.  Tuesdays with Morrie is a magical chronicle of their time together, through which Mitch shares Morrie's lasting gift with the world.

Nutrition: Preventing, Fighting and Recovering from Cancer and Chronic Illness

Monday, October 12, 6:30-8:30PM Registration Required

Christopher A.  Baker, PhD.

Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago

Learn about food science and nutrition and how they can be used to combat chronic illnesses like cancer and much more.  Taught by Chris Baker, PhD, a brain scientist, award-winning teacher, and survivor of chronic illness who has spent the last decade learning and now sharing the science behind nutritional medicine to audiences of all backgrounds.

The Road to Financial Peace of Mind 

Thursday, October 15, 7:00-8:30PM

David Blaydes, CFP, MS

Retirement Planners International 

Financial concerns can add to the stress of dealing with a cancer diagnosis.  Learn about financial planning and investing, beneficiary designations and different ways of distributing assets.

Countering the Distress of Unclear Tomorrows: From Mind to Molecules

Tuesday, October 20, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Penny Block, PhD

Executive Director, Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment 

Executive Director, Institute for Integrative Cancer Care Research & Education

While we all know that chronic, unrelieved distress  can impact many dimensions of our biology in unwanted ways, more importantly, we now know-based on excellent research-that specific, simple daily practices can produce a change in gene expression that can inhibit cancer promoting factors.  This is potent and empowering information.  Join this talk and learn what you can do to help counter the consequences of understandable stress or distress that may accompany cancer and its treatments and help you to produce substantial biomedical benefits.

The Healing Clinic Presents: Medical Cannabis Unraveled

Thursday, October 22, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Feliza Castro, Founder & CEO

Jonathan Spero, MD 

The Healing Clinic

Feliza will lead a discussion on the legal history of cannabis in the U.S., beginning with prohibition and the reasons behind it as well as current marijuana policy reform in the U.S.  She will present a timeline of American States that have passed marijuana laws and/or have initiated a legislative process to legalize cannabis in some way.  This will lead to an overview of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program.  She will also summarize the law and talk about the rights of registered patients.  Information will be presented about the benefits of medical cannabis for cancer patients.  This part of the presentation will include medical research findings, case studies, real patient testimonies and experiences.  Feliza will lead a discussion about when and how to talk to a treating physician about wanting to explore cannabis as a treatment option for symptoms that hinder quality of life.  Lastly, Feliza will end the presentation with a description of The Healing Clinic and the services that it offers patients: certification, advocacy, education and connection with designated caregivers.

Creating a Sacred Space in Your Home

Monday, October 26,  1:00-2:30PM Registration Required

Bridget Juister, L.A.c., B Holistic

Whether  you or a loved one has or had cancer, your home plays a vital role in the healing process.  Join Bridget Juister from B Holistic on how to create a sacred space for rest and renewal.  In this fun presentation, you'll learn how the art of Fen Shui, along with the use of color and accessories, can transform any space into a sacred one specific for your personal journey with cancer.

Spiritual Side of the Cancer Journey: Multi-faith Panel and Discussion

Thursday, October 29, 6:30-8:30PM Registration Required

Cancer brings many challenges.  Often people respond by turning toward their faith or spiritual practice; for others, faith is shaken, and they may turn away.  Please join us for an active discussion with a multi-faith panel to address challenges and questions about the spiritual side of the cancer journey.

Introduction to Essential Oils: Five EOs that can be Beneficial for Cancer Care

Monday, November 2, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Linette Bolin, RN, BSN, Certified Clinical Aromatherapist

Join us for an introductory class on essential oils with an emphasis on the top five oils for cancer care.  Participants will learn what qualities are necessary to truly have a therapeutic grade essential oil, three ways essential oils work with our body to improve its well-being, three ways to administer essential oils, the basic safety guidelines when applying essential oils, and five essential oils that can be beneficial for cancer care.

Multi-faceted Pain Management

Tuesday, November 3, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Ellyn Schreiner MPH, RN-BC, CHPN, Clinical Educator/Supervisor

Maria Korber, MSW

Linda Liu, Chaplain

Amita Health, Adventist St. Thomas Hospice

Participants will gain a general overview of pain and the various types of physical pain.  The discussion will also include treatment options for pain management and the barriers that exist to good pain management.  Also covered will be how to identify social or emotional pain and existential or spiritual pain.  Lastly, the presenters will share common complications of untreated pain.  

Understanding Medicaid Planning

Thursday, November 5, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Marty Fogarty, Attorney, Founder

Heartland Law Firm

Learn the rules for how to protect assets legally for nursing home stays.  Even if you're in crisis, learn what law protects 50 percent of your assets.  Learn what law protects 100 percent of your assets from Medicaid spend-down.

Reiki for You

Friday, November 6, 9:00AM-4:30PM Registration Required

Jane Van De Velde, DNP, RN, Reiki Master

Teacher, The Reiki Share Project

Reiki is a complementary healing technique that helps to promote relaxation and alleviate stress.  Reiki is like force energy that works holistically to bring balance physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.  In this class, you will learn about working with Reiki energy and how to offer Reiki to yourself every day.  Please bring a sack lunch.    

Healthy Eating after Prostate Surgery 

Tuesday, November 10, 6:00-7:00PM Registration Required

Anita Ratterman, RD, CSO, LDN

We will discuss the most recent information about diet and prostate cancer to identify foods to safely include in your diet, as well as, foods to limit.

Lessons Learned

Tuesday, November 10, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required

Please join us for a pre-Thanksgiving, open-forum conversation being held in order for you to "pay it forward" experiences that have come to you, in the midst of the challenges of cancer, that have taught or revealed something to you about yourself or life that have ultimately helped you in your journey.  Please come to this evening with the attitude of both giving and getting, knowing that the more who attend to both share and receive, will make this a rich experience for all.  Ways to contribute include briefly sharing something you prepare for the conversation, a spontaneous contribution that evening, a show-and-tell style introduction of someone or something that has helped you along the way, etc.  all members of the Wellness House community, including participants in all Wellness House programs, family members, friends, and members of the medical community who are an integral part of this journey, are encouraged to attend.   

Prostate Cancer Rehab: What are Kegels and Am I Doing Them Right?

Tuesday, November 17, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

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

Supervisor, Outpatient Physical Medicine

Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital

A clear and practical presentation regarding possible pelvic floor dysfunction after prostate surgery.  The lecture will cover: what is the pelvic floor and its relationship to continence and sexual function, what can be the impact of prostate surgery to pelvic floor health as well as what you can do to enhance its function prior to and after surgery.

Laughter Yoga

Saturday, November 21, 12:00-1:00PM Registration Required

Cindy Berryman

Certified Eden Energy Medicine Practitioner

Experience more joy and fun in your life.  Laughter is the best medicine.  Laughter relaxes the body, boosts the immune system, decreases pain and triggers the release of endorphins which improves our mood.  Using yogic breath work and fun exercises, you will be sure to have a good time!

Renew Your Reiki

Tuesday, December 1, 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, both to yourself and to a partner. 

Sponsored by the Reiko Share Project.

Look Good Feel Better

Monday, October 5        2:00-4:00PM Registration Required

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

Monday, December 7   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.  

Coffee, Tea and Like What You See! Quick Steps to an Enhanced You 

Monday, October 19          2:00-3:00PM Registration Required 

Tuesday, November 12    2:00-3:00PM Registration Required

Monday, December 14     2:00-3:00PM Registration Required

Gayle Perzek & Catherine McMahon

Join this small group and learn how to deal with some of the aesthetic side effects of treatment.  Watch and learn how to tie scarves, create eyebrows and some quick steps to further improve your appearance and raise your confidence.  Come be inspired in this hour-long session.  (Class registration limit is 5) 


Moving Forward: Survivorship Health and Wellness Programs 

Reducing your Risk of Recurrence 

Monday, November 23, 30, December 7, 7:00-8:30PM Registration Required 

In this three part series, participants will learn practical strategies to help reduce the risk of recurrence as much as possible.  Participants will learn how physical activity, diet and stress impact their overall health and will walk away with concrete and research proves ways to reduce their risk of a cancer recurrence. 


Healthy Living

Sidelining Side Effects

Monday, October 5, 6:00-7:00PM Registration Required

Tuesday, October 20, 11:00AM-12:00PM Registration Required

Monday, November 2, 4:00-5:00PM Registration Required

Tuesday, November 17, 1:00-2:00PM Registration Required

Tuesday, December 15, 4:00-5:00PM 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

Tuesdays, October 27, December 1 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Saturdays, October 10, November 14, December 12, 10:30AM-12:00PM 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!


Cancer Nutrition 101: Step-by-Step Program to a Cancer Fighting Diet 

Tuesdays, November 17, 24, December 8, 15 6:00-7:00PM Registration Required

Adopting a cancer fighting diet can be confusing and overwhelming.  This four-week series will begin a step-by-step journey from eating a diet of processed and refined foods to eating clean and healthy.  This series if for cancer survivors who want to improve their eating habits but have not known where to begin. 

Pressure Cook with Ease

Thursday, December 3, 12:30-2:00PM Registration Required

Take the pressure off yourself and put it on your food.  Short on time?  Trying to simplify your meals?  Want to lock in important nutrients? Time to pull out the pressure cooker.  Health-supportive chef, Adrienne Felder, MA, LCPC, will share easy steps you can take with healthy ingredients to make delicious and nutritious meals for yourself and your family.


Stress Management  

Stress Free Saturday

Saturdays, September 26, October 10, 31*, November 14, 28, December 12,  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.

*Labyrinth - 9:30-11:30AM ~ the average walk takes 45 minutes ~ Register for a start time by calling 630-323-5150. Register for a start time of 9:30, 9:45, 10:00, 10:15, 10:30 or 10:45.  Please join us for a Labyrinth as a special Stress Free Saturday experience.  Walking the simple path of a labyrinth is an "active" form of meditation that does not require any formal training.  It can be a profound experience and has many benefits.  

Wellness through Deep Hypnosis

Saturdays,  October 17, November 21, December 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.  

Meditation for YOU

Mondays, October 29-November 23, 12:00-1:00PM Registration Required

Join Bridget Juister, LAc. of B Holistic and learn to relax your body, still your mind and engage your spirit through meditation.  You'll learn to tailor meditation to suit your specific needs.  Whether you're looking to manage stress, create self-healing or receive inner guidance for life's challenges, meditation is the way. 

Expressive Arts

Knitting & Crocheting

Mondays, October 5, 19, November 2, 16, December 7 1:00-2:00PM Registration Required

Whether you are experienced at crocheting or knitting or just a beginner, join us in a relaxed environment to work on projects.  Basic instruction is also available, as well as a few knitting needles, crochet hooks and some yarn to help you get started.  Come meet new friends and learn a relaxing skill.

Jewelry Making

Tuesdays, October 6-27, 1:00-3:00PM Registration Required

Join us for this fun jewelry making class to make it and wear it.  No experience necessary.

Ink Art

Tuesdays, November 3-24, 1:00-2:30PM Registration Required 

learn about this ancient medium as we create colorful and beautiful art and scarves.  No experience necessary.

Mixed Media Art 

Thursdays, December 3-17, 6:00-8:00PM Registration Required

A celebration of all mediums to have and experiment.  No experience necessary.

Introduction to Needle Felting

Fridays, December 4-18, 12:00-1:30PM Registration Required

Needle felting is a popular fiber craft in which wool fleece is sculpted, using a special barbed needle to stab it into shape.  using a few simple techniques, you can create many different pieced from jewelry, embellishments decor, and ornaments to toys, wool pets, sculptures and dolls.  You can also appliqué the fleece onto your favorite bag, hat, scarf, and other items. In this class you will learn a variety of needle felting techniques, create your very own broach, accessory, sculpture, or appliquéd embellishment, and go home with all the materials you need to continue felting.    

Family Matters

~ Family Wellness Activities~

Spooky Spectacular

Wednesday, October 28, 6:00-7:30PM Registration Required

Calling all kids and families!  Come dressed in your Halloween best and enjoy a night of spooky, spectacular fun.

Family Traditions

Wednesday, November 18, 6:00-7:30PM Registration Required

Come learn about the importance of family rituals, ways to develop them and help us create a new one.  We will be decorating ornaments for our Wellness House Holiday Tree to be displayed at Brookfield Zoo.  Please bring all members of your family to participate in this fun event.  Zoo passes will be provided to everyone who attends.

Mindful Parents, Mindful Children 

Tuesday, December 1, 4:30- 6:00PM 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 Winter Wonderland 

Wednesday, December 16, 6:00-7:30PM Registration Required

Come warm your hearts on a cold winter night and help us create a winter wonderland.  Like the presents you open at the holidays, the treats you will be making are a surprise!  Families with children of all ages are welcome.


Kids Yoga and Relaxation

Thursdays, October 8, November 12, and December 10, 4:30-5:30PM Registration Required

Kids 5-12 are invited to experience your yoga and relaxation sessions.  We will try out fun activities like yoga, art, and guided imagery together.  


The Other Survivor: Exploring the Sibling Dynamic of Childhood Cancer

Saturday, October 24, 8:30AM-3:00PM Registration Required

An event for siblings ages 6-15 and caregivers of pediatric oncology patients and survivors.  The diagnosis and treatment of childhood cancer is a stressful experience for all family members.  This conference aims to promote a broader understanding of the impact of childhood cancer on siblings.  If childcare is a barrier to attending, please contact Chelsea Yoo at 630-654-5107.



Staying Close: Deepening Friendship and Intimacy

Thursday, October 15, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

With all the additional stress that comes along with living with cancer, give your relationship a boost and learn tools to improve your communication, deepen your friendship and create more intimacy. 

Tips and Tools for Couples Facing Cancer Together

Thursday, November 19, 6:30-8:00PM Registration Required

Learn about common communication concerns or conflicts that couples experience from diagnosis to treatment and life post treatment.  you and your partner will learn strategies for coping with the emotions that can interfere with your relationship.

Couples Date Night

Thursday, December 3, 6L30-8:30PM Registration Required

Back by popular demand.  Bring your significant other and make it a date night.  Couples will spend time making and tasting delicious recipes.  

Support and Networking 

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.

Soul Journey Circle for Women

Saturday, October 24, November 21, 10:30-12:30PM Registration Required

Patricia Greer, PhD.

This if for women who want to understand cancer as a teacher, as a way of connecting with your inner wisdom.  If you feel ready to explore beneath the literal concerns of cancer-and there are many-you may want to participate in this group to find deeper  possibilities of psychological and spiritual growth.

Caregivers Guide to Self-Care 

Tuesday, November 17, 2:00-3:30PM Registration Required

How are you caring for yourself as you care for your loved ones?  Research shows that family caregivers frequently choose not to address their own healthcare needs in favor of providing service to the patient.  The impact of the disease on the family is multifocal, often resulting in physical, psychological and spiritual challenges.  This workshop will focus on the "self-care" needs of caregivers, the challenge of role changes, maintaining open communication and the impact of cancer on family caregivers' quality of life.  Each participant will begin to develop their own self-care plan.