Fear, pain, joy, hope. Sometimes words are too weak, too inadequate, to express the emotions of a patient’s journey through cancer — and only a paintbrush or pencil can testify to the cancer survivor’s experience.
Members of City of Hope’s Department of Nursing Research and Education know that all too well.
The department last week offered its first course in the Cancer Survivorship Education for Quality Cancer Care program, a National Cancer Institute-funded effort that supports important services for surveillance and follow-up for cancer survivors. As part of the course, held in Pasadena, Calif., organizers exhibited giclée prints of 15 pieces of art created by survivors, family members and others immersed in cancer care.
Starting July 17, five of the compelling pieces will be displayed at the Rita Cooper Finkel and J. William Finkel Women’s Health Center on the City of Hope campus. The public exhibit will last at least two weeks.
It all started with a moving image from the collection that recently appeared on the cover of the American Journal of Nursing. When Denice Economou, R.N., M.S.N. — the course’s project director — learned that the art was part of an international competition sponsored by Eli Lilly and Company, she contacted competition organizers, hoping that some of the pieces might be on exhibit nearby. To her surprise, Lilly offered to loan the prints for the survivorship course and related survivorship education efforts.
Marcia Grant, R.N., D.N.Sc., director and research scientist with the Department of Nursing Research and Education and principal investigator of the program, believes the images provide unusual insight into cancer survivorship. “This is a great project,” said Grant, whose co-investigators include Betty Ferrell, R.N., Ph.D., research scientist in the Department of Nursing Research and Education, and Smita Bhatia, M.D., M.P.H., professor of pediatrics and chair of the Division of Population Sciences.
The exhibition is called “Lilly Oncology on Canvas: Expressions of a Woman’s Cancer Journey.”
For information about the art, go to www.lillyoncology.com and click on the Oncology on Canvas link. For information about the exhibit at the Cooper Finkel Women’s Health Center, please call Cathy Cole, M.P.H., N.P., R.N.C., clinical nurse manager at the Breast Center, at 626-256-HOPE ext. 60020.