Art Therapy For Breast Cancer Patients | Living Healthy Chicago

Art Therapy For Breast Cancer Patients | Living Healthy Chicago


Welcome to Living Healthy
Chicago, I’m Jane Monzures. We’re starting today’s show
by talking about something that can completely rock
someone’s world, cancer. It’s a battle back
to health physically, but it’s equally important to address the emotional
side of that diagnosis. This next woman says, “Art
therapy is what helped her “handle that aspect
of breast cancer.” (soft music) As it does for many women,
Connie Kubik’s experience with breast cancer started
with the discovery of a lump. – I had a mammogram
and an ultrasound. Once they did the biopsy, then it proved to be
Invasive lobular carcinoma. I was petrified, I
was terrified, I was
extremely nervous. All I did was cry. – She had a lobular
breast cancer, which is one of
the two most common originates from the lobulars
in the breast tissue. The stage were localized,
which is great, which means it hadn’t spread. Breast cancer is
cells in the breast generally in the lobular ducts that have gone out of control
for lack of a better term. They start to grow
more than they should. One in seven to one in
eight women in the US get a breast cancer at
some point in their life. So it touches almost
every family in the US. – They felt I had
a death sentence. He said, “No, this is
totally treatable.” So we went from there. – [Jane] Connie went
on to have a mastectomy followed by radiation. – Good morning Connie,
good to see you. Radiation reduces the
risk of the coming back by actually making the
cancer cells unable to divide and to improve survival. – Radiation was kind of tough. All of a sudden your
emotions come out. They get pushed
back a little bit during the process of
all the physical aspects of a cancer diagnosis. – [Jane] Connie found out
that would help to process those emotions was Art therapy. – It at times, brought out emotions and at other times I will
get just immersed in the Art. – Art therapy is the
use of Art-making within the therapeutic
relationship. There’s a belief that you may
not have the words to describe what’s going on internally, and so we use the art to kind
of express those emotions, different media can
evoke different emotions. So sometimes I might
encourage a patient to try something different. – We look at some of
the Art therapy data, it actually reduces
people’s stress levels if they’re into it. So I think that
Connie got a lot out of the actually that
kind of support. – [Jane] Beth says, “Another
benefit of art therapy “is that it puts choice
back in patients lives.” – Don’t even talk about
it, I think about– – I think that so many
choices are taken away from an individual when
they’re going through an oncology diagnosis. So when I can infuse
choice for patients, I really like to give
them that opportunity. I think that it gives them
control over something within the situation and
gives them a grounding place. – She always gives you options, so if you’re working on a
project, you can tell her, “I don’t like it, I want
to work on something else.” – Taking care of your emotions, taking care of how you’re
thinking how you’re doing is really important. We want people to live
as long as possible, but also live as
well as possible. – [Jane] After successful
treatment aided by Art therapy, Connie decided that
she wanted to make Art an ongoing part of her life. – Cancer pretty much
was the door opening to get back into Art. There’s quite a few
things that I wanna try. I like to attempt
drawing mountains because to me, they
symbolize strength, majesty, and it’s like, “Wow, I
made that, it’s fun.” – [Jane] Connie and
her care team hope that her story
will remind others going through breast
cancer to seek out support for their emotional well-being
as they undergo treatment. – It’s a shock to the life, it makes people really
nervous and in concern. The more supportive things,
the more things we can do to help life go on ’cause
life goes on the better it is. – I feel good physically. I lost a breast, but that
isn’t what defines me. Being healthy and continuing on with life is what defines me.

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