Jeanne Farmer needed something. The northwest Columbus resident had served as a caregiver to, in order, her grandmother, mother and husband as they succumbed to dementia. Then her dog, the only comfort she had left, died.
Correction: The print and earlier online version of this story gave the incorrect start time for the Mindfulness Hour classes, which are held at 9 a.m. the first and third Wednesday of the month, not at noon.
Jeanne Farmer needed something.
The northwest Columbus resident had served as a caregiver to, in order, her grandmother, mother and husband as they succumbed to dementia. Then her dog, the only comfort she had left, died.
That was when, earlier this year, she turned to the Mindfulness Hour classes offered twice a month at Cancer Support Community Central Ohio at 1200 Old Henderson Road in northwest Columbus.
"I needed to slow down my mind," Farmer said after the Nov. 21 class. "I've got so many things racing over in my mind. It does help. I've got to be mindful of myself."
Currently taught by Clintonville resident Kevin Kraska, a mental-health therapist, the programs at 9 a.m. the first and third Wednesdays of each month are open to cancer survivors and caregivers, as well as the general public.
In describing what mindfulness meditation is after the Nov. 21 class, Kraska quoted John Kabat-Zinn, the man who brought the concept into the mainstream: "Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment and nonjudgmentally."
"It's a particular way of paying attention," Kraska said. "Mindfulness is about moving toward how we relate to things in our lives. It's all about moving toward our experiences."
Although Kraska said he has mindfulness programs tailored specifically for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers, his classes at Cancer Support Community are about the meditation form in general.
"I'm very grateful to be able to spend time in community working on meditation," Clintonville resident and cancer survivor Melissa Richardson said after the Nov. 21 class.
She added she also is grateful to Cancer Support Community for the free programs the organization offers to survivors and caregivers.
Another Nov. 21 participant and cancer survivor was Dublin resident Laura Batdorf, who has been taking the classes since May 2015.
"I've found it to be calming and peaceful, restorative, because dealing with cancer is all of the opposite things," Batdorf said.