Focusing on wellness to help patients thrive

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Wellness programs are an important part of survivorship

When you were diagnosed with cancer, you probably felt like your entire life was disrupted. Suddenly, you had appointments, scans, tests and treatments, not to mention the emotional weight of hearing you have cancer. You may have felt overwhelming fear, anxiety and stress. The thought of surviving your cancer became a focus for not only for yourself, but for your families and loved ones as well.

What if there was a way to actually thrive during your cancer journey? Prioritizing wellness may be the key.

Bringing wellness into balance

For decades, research has shown that improving a patient’s well-being can have positive impacts on their overall health. Wellness incorporates several areas of life — intellectual, social, physical, spiritual, occupational (financial), emotional and environmental. Pursuing wellness as a lifestyle aims to balance these components so they play an equal part in our overall well-being. The often used “Wellness Wheel” depicts this balance.

Wellness Wheel

We know that focusing on anything-but-your-cancer is not easy. That’s why Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center has made wellness a priority for our patients and their families, too. Roswell Park’s Wellness Program allows all members of our community to come together and engage in enriching experiences to help you find that wellness balance. From cooking to painting to meditation, we have opportunities for everyone:

  • Intellectual Wellness – Our Wellness Wednesday series brings in local experts to provide information about many diverse topics relevant to patients. Some past topics have included lymphedema massage, sexual health, organic skincare and tips for better sleep. You can access our webinars to learn about other topics.
  • Social Wellness – In the Covid era, it has been challenging to bring our patients and families together to find social support. Virtual resources like CancerConnect, however, have been a great option for people looking to connect with others. Patients may also request a cancer coach to provide peer mentorship.
  • Physical WellnessYoga and qi gong classes are available to help build strength and improve quality of physical health. The instructors have specialized oncology training so they can personalize each class for the participants. We also offer live demonstration cooking classes to teach about healthy nutritional choices.
  • Spiritual Wellness – Mindfulness meditation is an important piece of wellness at Roswell Park, and all are welcome to join us for our guided meditation sessions. In addition, our interfaith Spiritual Care team has dedicated members who will provide individualized support to any patient or caregiver.
  • Occupational Wellness – Life coaching courses have been offered to help participants realize their passions and values. Roswell Park also has a financial assistance program that can help families navigate costs of cancer care.
  • Emotional Wellness – The Resource Center is a great place to start if you’re looking for an emotional pick-me-up. Their volunteers will cheer you up and connect you with many options for support. Our social work team is also available to help with further mental health and emotional needs, as well.
  • Environmental Wellness – Take a stroll through Kaminski Park to or visit the Marie, Maria and Michael Bogner, Sr. Patient Terrace to enjoy fresh air with beautiful gardens and views. Putting ourselves in a peaceful place can sometimes be all it takes to quiet our mind. If you’re looking for a more energizing environment, join us for our Paint Nights where we create unique pieces of art you can take home to remember that joy and fun can always be part of the journey.

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Deciding to actively pursue a lifestyle of wellness may seem like a daunting task. Remember that any step towards integrating wellness into your life is a positive one — allow yourself to feel empowered in your own journey. It is essential to prioritize your own wellbeing, and what better time to start than now?

To learn more about any of our Wellness opportunities, contact our Wellness Program Coordinator, Ashley King, at 716-845-1664 or Ashley.King@RoswellPark.org.