Jeff Ball is a firm believer in the benefits of an integrated approach to cancer care. As a cancer survivor himself, Jeff has made significant changes to his lifestyle, including adopting a pescetarian diet, regular exercise, meditation, and counseling. According to Jeff, these lifestyle changes have helped him to feel his healthiest – despite his diagnosis.
“When I was first diagnosed, I was taking many prescriptions for pain. But, through diet changes and exercise, the pain isn’t nearly as bad and I’m able to control my inflammation without medication,” Jeff said.
Through Swedish Covenant Hospital’s Center for Advanced Therapy in Cancer, Hematology, and Infusion (CATC), the Integrated Cancer Care program provides a holistic approach to meeting the needs of cancer survivors. From the point of diagnosis, the program enhances health and well-being to lessen the adverse effects of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Services within the program aim to reduce stress, enhance quality of life and mood, increase treatment adherence, and reduce the onset and severity of weight loss.
The Integrated Cancer Care Navigator, Kayla Innis, MSW, LSW, meets with each participant to provide education and support and to determine which services will be the greatest benefit for each patient. Available services through the program include exercise and fitness programming at Galter LifeCenter; integrative therapies including massage, acupuncture and water shiatsu; education and social support groups; stress reduction training; and nutrition assessments and counseling. The program is provided at no cost to participants, thanks to funds granted by the Coleman Foundation.
Because of Jeff’s experience with integrated care, he is serving on the patient advisory committee for the Integrated Cancer Care program in order to help other patients at Swedish Covenant Hospital access some of the same benefits he has experienced.
One of these patients is Magylyn Buduan, who began participating in the program in December 2014 at the invitation of oncologist Dr. Jeffrey Cilley. Prior to her diagnosis, Magylyn enjoyed exercising – from walking and running to yoga. After joining the Integrated Cancer Care program, Magylyn began exercising again with the help of programming at Galter LifeCenter. She believes that the exercise programming benefits more than just her physical health.
“Since I’ve been in program, it’s given me something to look forward to. I have more energy and I feel like I have a purpose,” Magylyn said. “I go to Galter LifeCenter and meet people and many of us share the same experiences.”
She has also experienced benefits from a massage received through the program and has scheduled her second massage the day before her next round of chemotherapy.
The Integrated Cancer Care program is open to all cancer survivors, regardless of whether they receive treatment at Swedish Covenant Hospital.
To learn more about Integrated Cancer Care at Swedish Covenant Hospital, or to support the program, contact the Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org or (773) 293-5121, or go to swedishcovenantfoundation.org/donate.