Recently in the New York Times, I read an article written by Susan Gubar regarding her bout with cancer and dealing with occupational therapy. Basically, after eight years of physical therapy, she felt that she had not received any professional assistance for many of the issues that come with being diagnosed with cancer such as fear, weakness, fatigue, insomnia, etc.
Each year 12.7 million people discover they have cancer which is one of the most mysterious and terrifying diseases in our lifetime. Thanks to research, scientists work round the clock to find new discoveries that will turn into clinical trials and new drug discoveries that will save lives. However, patients are living daily with fear – the fear of dying, fear of coping with the disease while taking care of their families, fear of the unknown and more.
Thanks to Dr. Jimmie C. Holland who is the Wayne E. Chapman Chair in Psychiatric Oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, she pioneered ways in which counseling, psychosocial interventions, and medications can reduce the distress experienced by cancer patients and their families. As a psychiatrist for more than 30 years, Dr. Holland has devoted her career to helping patients, their families, and medical staff as they cope with the psychological burden of cancer and its treatment.
The T.J. Martell Foundation has been supporting psychiatric oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center for many years and has navigated patients to getting the help they need to be able to deal with their disease. Our goal is to create positive energy in hopes that patients can overcome their fear and anxiety and tackle their disease.
Believe me, Dr. Jimmie Holland is a pioneer – she is from my home state of Texas and she is one of the best people that I know who are helping to change the world in the way we deal with cancer .