Finding the Strength to Live Again:
Approach to Cancer
Having cancer is a stressful experience, filled
with many emotional and physical challenges.
To help, the Joan Karnell Cancer Center at Pennsylvania
Hospital offers Finding the Strength to Live
Again, an interactive music and art program sponsored
by Ortho Biotech. A unique program, Finding the
Strength to Live Again is designed to help patients
and family members explore feelings and images
related to their cancer, and treatment.
Patients are given a box of drawing materials that includes water
colors, pastels, and colored pencils to use on
thick drawing paper. Through guided activities, group members are
given opportunities to creatively draw their own experiences of having
cancer, and how this affects them. For example, patients often use
the guided experiences to draw their own bodies, and the effect of
cancer on their bodies.
Through additional drawings and discussions,
group members are better able to understand how
their cancer affects them, and what it is that they need in order
to better cope. Importantly, artistic skills or experience are not
necessary. Everyone has the ability to express themselves creatively
using the drawing materials, and the final "product" is
less important than the process involved.
Drawing is a spontaneous, creative act. Many people in the group
found that being creative and expressing themselves in this non-verbal
way helped them to feel better, and gain a sense of control in all
that was happening to them. It also helped them to look forward, and
gain new perspectives.
For more information and to register for an upcoming program, call