Feeling Whole During Cancer Treatment
Debra Jacque talks with us about her experience with The Ghosh Center.
Why is The Ghosh Center the right place for you?
I can be myself with everyone there. They let me be who I am and accept all of me. There’s a strong sense of connection, an organic and genuine connection. My friend, Mary, brings me to all of my healing sessions, and they’ve embraced her, too. The team makes me feel like we’re all in this together.
When I’m at The Ghosh Center, I’m okay. I don’t feel like there’s anything wrong with me. I don’t feel sick – I feel whole.
Why do you think that is?
Everyone at The Ghosh Center is committed to me being happy and healthy. They relate to me as a person, not a patient. The staff gets that cancer isn't my life; it's just part of my life.
Every facet of the experience is good. When I walk in the front door, Terri greets me with such a great attitude. Mike, who handles the insurance, helped me enroll in a program with a much more affordable copay for my medication. Joni, who draws my blood, makes it smooth and easy. I can enjoy the bird feeders outside the windows or watch beautiful images on the TV monitors. Instead of just focusing on the disease, The Ghosh Center directs my mind and energy toward positive things. Mindy, Tanaya, Laurie, Katie, Nicole and LaNette help me feel calm and relaxed in the infusion room, and Becki’s smile makes me forget anything scary.
During chemotherapy, Leesa gives us little servings of healthy smoothies that are good for our immune systems. Then she gives us the recipes to make it ourselves. As my health coach and mentor, Leesa has really given me an education, and I’m eating totally differently.
I love the fact that they don’t just give me my meds and send me home. They support changes to my lifestyle, like stopping smoking. I’m a small person and Leesa’s helped me maintain my weight – and even gain a few pounds during chemotherapy, which is hard to do! It’s all part of the healing.
Tell us about the first time you met Dr. Ghosh.
I first met him 16 years ago, when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. One of the first things he told me was to take the next couple weeks and do something I’d enjoy. You know what? I enjoyed my job, but realized I'd really enjoy hanging out and doing a project with my husband. So I did.
When I had my second diagnosis, my doctor needed to refer me to a cancer specialist. I said Dr. Ghosh had some wise words for me 16 years ago. He’s my doctor again, and that’s a gift.
What advice would you have for someone who’s just been diagnosed?
I would recommend going to the Ghosh Center. I just found out my nephew has cancer, and I wish he could come here and have the same experience I’m having. My sister, who’s in Denver, has had breast cancer twice. She’s thrilled to hear about my connection with the healing team. She's confident I'm in the right hands.
And then, of course, I believe in Dr. Ghosh’s advice about doing things you really enjoy. I lost my sweetheart, best friend and husband, Arnie, over two years ago. Dr. Ghosh’s words are something to remember every day, and I’m happy I followed his advice.