By Rhonda Gold, Ovarian Cancer Survivor
Gilchrist’s Integrative and Palliative Medicine services are available to patients receiving cancer treatment at GBMC.
Encouragement, mindfulness, hope and renewal are essential for cancer survivors. My experience with Gilchrist’s Integrative and Palliative Medicine at GBMC has improved my overall outlook and helped me redefine my personal goals based on my current medical reality.
Dr. Delia Chiaramonte, director of the Integrative and Palliative Medicine program, has encouraged honest, open discussions about areas for improvement most important to my well-being. She has counseled and supported me in feeling a greater sense of control in my life, provided options to minimize treatment side effects, suggested mind-body therapies to improve my coping abilities and continues to provide professional guidance in medical decision making. I have been able to live my best life with cancer because of the supportive care and counseling that I have received from Dr. Chiaramonte and my care team.
I have been living with cancer for nearly five years. Having survived three recurrences, my goal is to achieve maximum comfort and function with an optimal quality of life. Integrative Medicine helps patients address physical, psychosocial, emotional, spiritual, social and practical aspects resulting from cancer treatment. Integrative and Palliative Medicine has led me to an array of complementary therapies I never knew existed at GBMC.
Fatigue is a major consequence of cancer treatment. Having services in one location—including medical, counseling and complementary therapies—is ideal for patients who are immunosuppressed and need one-stop shopping for their overall well-being. Being able to schedule an appointment for complementary services on the same day as a doctor’s appointment or treatment is not only convenient but also rejuvenating and uplifting.
The available services are amazing and personalized to individual needs. My experiences with the therapists have been very meaningful. My personal experiences such as reiki, craniosacral therapy and massage are now an integral part of reaching my goals for a quality life.
These services are so beneficial for improving one’s outlook and enhancing quality of life. Complementary therapies are invaluable in treating the mind, body and spirit. They are incredibly comforting and healing for individuals facing cancer. Caregivers, family members and patients often are unable to navigate available options on their own, and it is overwhelming to search for information and support.
I am grateful for this truly integrative approach to cancer care, which helps patients live their best life and prepare for end-of-life decisions.
To learn more about how Gilchrist’s Integrative Medicine helps patients through the program at GBMC, visit gilchristcares.org/integrativemedicine.