Finding Strength in Numbers

Since being diagnosed with breast cancer, Petronilla Neal has found comfort in attending survivorship classes and meeting with people who can relate to her diagnosis.

“There’s a special bond every survivor shares, from the moment someone is diagnosed with cancer it doesn’t matter if you’re starting treatment or in recovery, there’s an unspoken recognition that you are connected to one another,” said Petronilla.

The Cancer Center offers survivorship programs based on mind-body medicine to help patients and caregivers cope with the emotional and physical strains that accompany a cancer diagnosis. The integrative programs combine research-based therapy with traditional cancer care, aimed to alleviate the side effects of cancer and improve overall well-being.

Petronilla decorating a mardi gras mask at our healing arts workshopPetronilla attended one of the survivorship programs, the mind-body skills group, which gives participants an opportunity to share and connect with other cancer survivors while also learning and practicing new coping skills. The atmosphere encouraged participants like Petronilla, to explore how another person’s story affects them and use that insight in their healing process.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be able to confide in a group of survivors who know what you’ve been through. Petronilla especially enjoyed a six-week survivorship clinic, where she says, “we all grew closer and continue to stay in touch.”

As we celebrate National Cancer Survivor Month, Petronilla encourages other survivors to attend one of the various classes the Cancer Center has to offer and meet new people. “During one of classes the group opened up and started sharing advice with one another. We were helping fellow survivors and at the same time healing ourselves; it was a truly memorable moment.”

All Cancer Center survivorship events are free and open to cancer survivors throughout Ascension Parish, thanks to the generosity of Gonzales Area Foundation. For more information on the survivorship program, visit our website.