Art Offers Hope For Cancer Survivors

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - From paintings to patchwork, art can say a lot about a person.

That can be especially helpful when you or a loved one is diagnosed with cancer.

Matt Herynk of Topeka's Cotton-O'Neil Cancer Center says everyone is different and experiences a range of emotions, whether it's depressed, angry or even a renewed enthusiasm for life. The common thread, he says, is the need to express those emotions, acknowledging the psychological aspect of the disease.

Herynk says art is a great way to get it out when the words won't come. He says what a person creates may reveal subconscious struggles.

Aside from expressing emotions, art can also offer a brief respite from the reality of illness. Herynk says it gives you something else to focus on for a time and distracts the mind from thinking because you're simply enjoying the process.

Cancer Survivors Education Series
People are invited to see how they can use "Art as Hope" in the next session of the Cancer Survivor Education Series. It is at noon Tuesday, Oct. 23rd, in the Anton Room at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library. Jane Hanni, Assistant Curator of Education at the Mulvane Art Museum, will do the presentation.

The sessions are free and open to anyone, including survivors, caregivers, family and friends.

Future sessions are the fourth Tuesday of every month at the Library.
Nov. 27 - Kelly Stevenson, Kansas Rehabilitation Hospital
Jan. 22 - Tom Matthews, PhD, Optimum Performance, on "Neurofeedback"
Feb. 26 - Susan Krigel, PhD, KU Medical Center, on "Survivorship"
March 26 - Amber Groeling, RD, LD, Hy-Vee Dietician
April 23 - TBA
May 28 - Jennifer Taylor, American Cancer Society