A Time to Heal
A Time to Heal is a 12-week holistic rehabilitation program designed to help women regain their physical, emotional, and spiritual health after breast cancer treatment. Why is this essential? Like someone undergoing cardiac rehab after a heart attack, a woman deserves help in her recovery from breast cancer too.
Research and experience have shown that the individual components of A Time to Heal may make a positive difference in the well being of breast cancer survivors.
If you've completed treatment for breast cancer, we invite you to participate.
Participating in this program may help you to not only survive, but thrive after breast cancer treatment. Learn about one woman's experience with the program»
Who Can Participate?
Women who have completed surgery and chemotherapy and/or radiation for a first diagnosis of breast cancer are eligible. If you are considering reconstructive surgery, please enroll for A Time to Heal during a 12-week period when you won't be having any of your surgeries.
What Would I Have to Do?
- Regular participation is important to get the full benefit. You need to be able to commit to attending at least 10 of the 12 sessions of A Time to Heal.
- You will be asked to complete a short interview prior to enrolling to get more information and to let the facilitators get to know you.
- You will be asked to fill out some questionnaires so the trainers can evaluate whether the program is meeting its goals.
What Does the Program Involve?
- Groups meet for about 3 hours a week.
- Each week, the session begins with gentle stretching designed to promote arm mobility and healthy posture.
- Weekly instruction will include topics such as nutrition, regaining strength, coping, relationships, relaxation, spirituality, femininity, happiness, and intention.
- The group discusses the information together and women work individually by journaling.
- Participants learn and practice techniques for relaxation.
- Each session ends with affirmations and intentions.
- Women who complete at least 10 of the 12 sessions will "graduate".
- Each participant is free to quit the group at any time.
What are the Advantages of Participating?
Women who participate will receive helpful information about healing, training in coping skills such as relaxation, and opportunities to ask questions and share insights with the facilitators, expert faculty and other survivors. As a result, they may feel better emotionally and physically. Women who have completed the program in the past say they have greater satisfaction with life and stronger feelings of well being.
What are the Disadvantages of Participating?
No serious disadvantages are anticipated. It is possible to hurt yourself during gentle exercising, but every precaution will be taken to prevent that. Some participants can become upset talking about topics related to cancer. To guard against undue stress, the group will be led by trained nursing and mental health professionals, and no participant is forced to take part in discussions.
When Does the Program Take Place?
The program is offered in the Fall and Spring.
What Does the Program Cost?
The program is free to participants.
Who Should I Contact to Learn More?
Lynne Hunter, MSW
Oncology Social Worker
Avera Cancer Institute
1000 E. 21st Street
Sioux Falls, SD 57105
About the Founders
The founders of this program are Dr. Kay Ryan and Dr. Stephanie Koraleski. Kay is a health care consultant, speaker and trainer and a breast cancer survivor. Stephanie is a cancer therapist and the daughter of a breast cancer survivor. They are both very familiar with the side effects and after effects of breast cancer treatment. Studying the research on breast cancer survivors has shown that women who have information, who make healthly choices, and who feel able to make a difference in their own lives can do very well after treatment. A Time to Heal is an attempt to give women access to the tools they need to be well after breast cancer.
A Time to Heal gratefully acknowledges the contributions of Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center, the Nebraska Methodist Hospital Foundation, and the Servite Center of Compassion.