Buddy Check 12: Spiritual Care - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Buddy Check 12: Spiritual Care

Some people believe spiritual care can be just as important in the fight against cancer. Some people believe spiritual care can be just as important in the fight against cancer.
Lisa Dambach and Donna Frye talk about their spiritual experiences while battling breast cancer. Lisa Dambach and Donna Frye talk about their spiritual experiences while battling breast cancer.

By Christy Hendricks - email

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) - When treating breast cancer, you most likely think of chemotherapy or radiation, but there's another type of cancer care you can't always see that many people say takes a big role in the healing process.

While medical treatments are a huge part of cancer care, many people say spiritual support can by just as important in the cancer journey.

"It's out of my hands," said Donna Frye, a breast cancer survivor. "It's already in God's hands.  He knows what the plan is.  I felt very comforted from the beginning."

Donna Frye has always had a strong faith in God, but when she was diagnosed with breast cancer nearly five years ago, she says the experience drew her closer to God.

"At first I said 'Why me' and then it was like 'Why not me,'" Donna said. "I'm not any better than anybody else and that I felt like God put that in my life as a learning tool and to help others."

Hospital counselors say it's common to question God after a diagnosis.

"Sometimes they go through being mad at God," said Barb McKeon, Southeast Hospital counselor. "Why is this happening to me?  And we say that's fine.  God can take it."

A spiritual journey is often part of the cancer battle.

"For the most part, the patients will tell us that this is one of the things that has helped them the most," McKeon said. 

Donna had chemo, a masectomy and reconstructive surgery, but she says putting her faith in a higher power gave her a peace through her cancer journey.

"I did my part in doing what I needed to do to take care of the cancer and I left it up to him to heal me completely. And he did," she said. "I never had any complication whatsoever."

For Lisa Dambach, a five year breast cancer survivor, her diagnosis brought her back to God.

"I was baptized and raised Catholic, but I hadn't been to church in 20 years at least," Lisa said. "It brought me back and showed me that a lot of things that you think in life are important really aren't."

She's now an active member in her church and says restructuring her priorities helped in the healing process.

"I think you need to have that peace in order for your body to help itself heal," Lisa said. 

Both Donna and Lisa say knowing they had support from up above as well as others around them made fighting and beating cancer easier.

Southeast Missouri Hospital offers a seven week program called Turning Points for those newly diagnosed with breast cancer.  Part of that program addresses spirituality.

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