Art program helps Swedish Covenant cancer patients face their disease

Each week, patients in the Chicago-based Swedish Covenant Hospital Integrated Cancer Care program have the opportunity to work with the hospital's artist in residence. Recently, they created cosmigraphics — visual representations of their understanding of how the universe is structured.

"The artistic expressions offered patients the opportunity to express a physical portrayal of a strong emotional reaction to a cancer diagnosis," said Integrated Cancer Care Navigator Kayla Innis. Ms. Innis and Swedish Covenant Hospital Artist in Residence Kari Lindholm-Johnson both said: "Participants were able to free themselves from the power that their cancer diagnosis had over them through drawing and painting the cancer cells on canvas or paper and in their support for one another."

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One patient, Erika, noted that the art program helped her express her feelings and find camaraderie in other patients' cancer journeys. Additionally, she learned her heart function increased from 25 percent capacity to 30 percent, "which I believe is connected in some part to my participation in this program."

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