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Art class for Cancer patients
Art therapy is good medicine, and brings a smile to cancer patients and other participants who enjoy painting just for the fun of it.

Fri, Aug 17, 2018 at 03:00 PM

Art therapy offers a fun, creative break for cancer survivors

High school art teacher and students share the simple joy of painting with breast cancer support group.

Therapy comes in many different forms. Support groups are a form of therapy, even if they just get people out of the house and around other people. The REAL group for breast cancer survivors does just that, and offers some fun too.

The August meeting focused on Art Therapy, led by Val Jones, Guntersville High School art teacher, and four of her students. They helped attendees each create a painting.

“This is my way and my students’ way of giving back,” said Jones, whose husband Bill is being treated for lung cancer at the Marshall Cancer Care Center. “We’re here to have a good time. It doesn’t matter if you can paint or not.”

Jones provided art supplies and encouraged participants to paint a rooster, cats, a cross or a cupcake. Students painted along with cancer survivors, giving them instructions and encouragement. 

Research has shown that cancer survivors who engage in creative art therapy lessen the likelihood of depression and anxiety. It also is very relaxing, Jones told the group.

Marshall Cancer Care Center’s breast cancer survivor group is called REAL, which stands for Relationships, Encouragement, Acceptance, Laughter. It meets every other month in the Marshall Professional Center Classroom, located in Albertville on Hwy. 431 just south of Cracker Barrel. The next meeting is Oct. 16 at noon. “Concerns of breast cancer patients including fertility, sexuality, menopause symptoms, etc.,” led by Teresa Hunter, CRNP with Medical Centers OB-GYN, who specializes in Women's Health. Call 256.571-8000 to register for the free event.

Another good program for for cancer patients, survivors and caregivers is the L.I.F.E. support group - you can learn more here