Tripler’s ‘Oncology on Canvas’ paints theraputic art

| May 3, 2013 | 0 Comments
Logan Myrick creates his own painting at the Oncology on Canvas event at Tripler Army Medical Center, April 19. Logan was diagnosed at age 5 with Choroid Plexus Carcinoma; he is now 12 and in remission.  The seventh annual event is designed to help cancer patients, survivors and families who have suffered a loss due to cancer cope. Art created at this event will be on display at various spots around Oahu throughout the spring and summer.

Logan Myrick creates his own painting at the Oncology on Canvas event at Tripler Army Medical Center, April 19. Logan was diagnosed at age 5 with Choroid Plexus Carcinoma; he is now 12 and in remission.
The seventh annual event is designed to help cancer patients, survivors and families who have suffered a loss due to cancer cope. Art created at this event will be on display at various spots around Oahu throughout the spring and summer.

Story and photos by
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Cynthia Clark
Defense Media Activity, Honolulu

HONOLULU — Patients, families and survivors joined together at Tripler Army Medical Center (TAMC) for the seventh annual Oncology on Canvas, April 19.

The event assists cancer patients and family members to cope through art therapy.

The program started nationally as a contest for those affected by cancer, according to Dr. Pat Nishimoto, adult oncology clinical nurse specialist at TAMC.

When Nishimoto realized that using art could help patients and families communicate feelings about their cancer journey, she and colleagues began using art at TAMC. Instead of a contest, art was turned into an event where patients, family members, survivors and friends could get together, deal with their diagnosis and start on the path to healing.

One of the many families participating in the event was Marine Corps Lt. Col. Brian Grana of U.S. Pacific Command, who lost his wife from a brain tumor this past December.

Maj. Matt Myrick assists his wife, Joy, with her painting during the Oncology on Canvas event at Tripler Army Medical Center, April 19. The seventh annual event is designed to help cancer patients, survivors and families who have suffered a loss due to cancer cope. Art created at this event will be on display at various spots around Oahu throughout the spring and summer.

Maj. Matt Myrick assists his wife, Joy, with her painting during the Oncology on Canvas event at Tripler Army Medical Center, April 19. The seventh annual event is designed to help cancer patients, survivors and families who have suffered a loss due to cancer cope. Art created at this event will be on display at various spots around Oahu throughout the spring and summer.

“It was never not (to) keep going forward … but still recognizing we have to grieve. It’s constant; it never stops,” said Grana. “Dr. Nishimoto and the folks at Oncology, they’ve just been great.

“This is our first time doing it (Oncology on Canvas),” Grana continued. “When we started meeting with Dr. Nishimoto and her staff, they had mentioned art therapy and I thought it was a great idea.”

Grana agrees with Nishimoto and the staff at TAMC’s Oncology Clinic.

“One of the things you realize, when you’re grieving, is that it’s all five senses,” Grana said. “We all grieve at a different pace. … With art therapy, it really allows you to engage, touch and see; I think it’s a good fusion. It’s just one of the many mechanisms of grieving. … It’s a really good idea for folks who can’t communicate real well, and it’s a good outlet.”

Joy Myrick, whose son Logan was diagnosed with Choroid Plexus Carcinoma, at age 5, who is now 12 and in remission, participated in the event for the third year in a row.

“Art therapy is a wonderful way to express and share feelings,” Joy Myrick said. “Being around the other families is a way for all of us to share in the frustration of treatments, sadness of friends dying and happiness of just knowing your friends and family love and support you.”

Art Locations
The Oncology on Canvas art is on display:
•Honolulu Hale in May,
•Kahala Mall in June, and
•TAMC at the end of June through July.

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Category: Community, Health

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