Lisa Phillips is a breast cancer survivor. She also works with cancer patients at Lexington Oncology.
Today, she’s taking a break from work to participate in an art class for cancer patients called Healing Icons. She’s making the border of a frame for artwork representing the healing process of her cancer journey.
“It’s so calming,” Phillips said. “And it helps bring into focus feelings about your cancer diagnosis that you were not even aware you had.”
Columbia artist Heidi Darr-Hope leads the class. It’s open to any cancer patient at the hospital for free and paid for through the Lexington Medical Center Foundation.
Each week, students meet on the hospital campus.
During a series of six weekly classes, students create art including black and white pencil drawings, masks and paintings. They are in all stages of treatment from the beginning of chemotherapy to grappling with a recurrence of cancer.
“It’s an amazing experience,” Darr-Hope said. “It seems simplistic, but there’s rich information under it,”
Darr-Hope says the artwork helps patients express the range of emotions they often feel about a cancer diagnosis and how it will impact them and their family.
“Once people can freely express the anger and anxiety, they lay them on the shoulders of their artwork and become lighter,” Darr-Hope said.
Darr-Hope calls it a different kind of support group.
“I’m encouraging anyone who feels lost in their cancer diagnosis to consider it because it’s a wonderful group,” she said.
For more information, visit www.lexmed.com/cancer-care or call the Lexington Medical Center Volunteer Services office at 803-791-2573.
The Lexington Medical Center Foundation provides important programs and services that help people in our community, including cancer patients. Please consider giving to the Lexington Medical Center Foundation during the Central Carolina Community Foundation’s “Midlands Gives” challenge on May 5. Learn more at MidlandsGives.org.