Art Therapy for CancerCare Patients
Art Therapy is one of the facets of the Trinity Health CancerCare Center’s survivorship and support group programs which were created to provide different activities for people with a diagnosis of cancer to: cope, and reduce pain, anxiety, stress, or depression.
The Trinity CancerCare Art Therapy program is designed for either those who are currently undergoing treatment for cancer or for those whose cancer is in remission. The Art Therapy groups are led by Bill Harbort, an art department professor at Minot State University, who calls the classes “a wonderful healing opportunity. The intent of the experience is to foster healing through visual means and through the act of painting,” Harbort said. Funding for the Art Therapy Program is provided by Trinity Health Foundation.
CancerCare Patient Assistance Fund
In addition to providing direct financial support to those battling cancer, the CancerCare Patient Assistance Fund has also been able to provide patients with in-kind gifts such store gift cards, wigs and compression garments. More than 180 patients benefited from this fund last year.
One of the patients who received assistance recently sent us the following note: “Thank you for the money, Walmart Gift Card, and gas vouchers. I have watched the Trinity Health Foundation at work for many years. It does make a difference in the lives that you touch. Thanks again.”
Yoga Therapy for CancerCare Patients
Many oncology patients undergo a rigorous treatment regimen that can affect their overall quality of life once completed. Feelings of overwhelming fatigue and weakness can make even the most routine daily tasks seem impossible, leading to increased stress and anxiety.
One of the goals of the Trinity CancerCare Survivorship Program is to help patients get back on their feet and on with their lives following oncology treatment. In keeping with the Trinity Health mission of excelling at meeting the needs of the whole person, representatives from Trinity CancerCare Center’s Survivorship Program began offering a gentle yoga class in May 2014. This gentle yoga class, led by a certified yoga instructor, was designed specifically with the oncology patient in mind.
Staying within the standard aspects of yoga, but with a gentler approach, patients can learn and complete exercises with a focus on reducing stress, and improving flexibility, strength, posture, and balance. The response to the class has been very positive with approximately 55 patients having participated with usually 6-8 participants in each session.
“I have been honored to guide the Survivorship Program gentle yoga class since its inception. The class offers poses to build strength and balance, mindfulness to deal with stress and anxiety, and the option to network with others. All of this is without judgment, competition and expectation. Our mantra is listening to our body.” -Nancy Scofield, yoga instructor.
The gentle yoga class is offered every Thursday from 5:30 – 6:30 pm and held in the Trinity CancerCare Center Lobby. Patients are provided a free yoga mat courtesy of the Trinity Health Foundation. The foundation also provides stipends for the instructors.
CancerCare Patients Writing Therapy
Writing Through Cancer was established this past spring. Journaling allows cancer patients a supportive and creative avenue to write about their cancer experience. This experience can include a wide range of emotions. Coming together to journal creates a bond with other cancer patients offering vital support to the individual’s cancer journey. The classes last 5 weeks and are under the direction of Conrad Davidson, a cancer survivor and instructor in the Communication Arts Department at Minot State University.