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In Gratitude: Patient Success Stories from BCH's Center for Integrative Care

Today the B Strong Ride warriors are riding to beat cancer. The annual ride benefits, in part, the BCH Center for Integrative Care, which helps local cancer patients in our community navigate their recovery. Here are a few of their success stories -- in their own words:

two people with paintingsEvan Cantor, 60, Boulder, CO

“Wonderful addition to my health and healing”

In June 2011, Evan Cantor, of Boulder, CO, a retired artist, musician and writer, was diagnosed with Stage 4 follicular lymphoma, a type of non-Hodgkin cancer that affects the lymph nodes. After finding a lump growing on the side of his neck, Cantor underwent six courses of chemotherapy and endured several rounds of drug therapy.

“In the wake of the chemo, I took advantage of the offerings at the Tebo Integrative Care Center,” Cantor said, “The financial program for cancer patients and post-cancer patients made it possible for me to have acupuncture and oncology massage treatments.” He explained the treatment was especially valuable in treating painful nerve damage. “The Integrative Care practitioners are professional and knowledgeable,” he said, “Their treatments with lymphatic drainage massage and acupuncture with tuning forks have been a wonderful addition to my health and healing.”

biciclystsRob Winter, 42, Longmont, CO

BCH Center for Integrative Care is “amazing care”

Advanced cancer was the last thing on Rob Winter’s mind when his doctor diagnosed him 17 months ago with stage 4B colorectal cancer metastasized to his liver and lungs. Winter, an information technology professional, husband and father of three, was an avid cyclist before his diagnosis. “Utilizing massage and acupuncture services during my journey with stage IVb colorectal cancer, my body has remained strong and I finished 2016 with 5,340 miles on the bike for the year and 6,500 miles since being diagnosed 17 months ago,” Winter said, “I couldn't have done it without the amazing care I receive at the BCH Center of Integrative Care!”

Marilyn Blake, 68, Westminster, CO

“Love heals … I am forever grateful”

In her own words: “I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for the services I receive at the Center for Integrative Care of Boulder Community Health. In February 2014, I was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. Treatment included chemo and radiation. My oncologist, Dr. Lori Jensen, and surgeon, Dr. Susan Hagen, highly recommended services from the Integrative Care Center. My massage therapist, Ann Simmons, and acupuncturist, Kate, have nurtured my body and provided wonderful relief from neuropathy (nerve pain). They have reduced my stress level and anxiety, especially at times of heightened vulnerability. Not only do they “wake up” my feet, they nurture my heart and my soul. Twice monthly, affordable sessions with these kind and gentle therapists have been consistent evidence of the belief that ‘love heals.’ They helped me have faith in the recovery process and to believe in the incredible ability of my body to heal! I am forever grateful.”

Marianne Billingsley, 55, Golden, CO

“I am so grateful and cancer free!”

In March 2015, Marianne Billingsley was diagnosed with Stage 3a breast cancer with a 4 centimeter tumor that spread to her sentinel lymph node. She began chemo and endured many symptoms and complications. She began acupuncture treatments and massage with Center for Integrative Care professionals Kate McBreen and Ann Simmons. “The acupuncture made a huge difference in relieving pain, fatigue and hot flashes,” Billingsley said. “Ann’s massage relieved pain and swelling in my arm…after my surgery, a bilateral mastectomy, I continued massage with Ann to soften scar tissue and for lymphedema treatment in my left arm.” Billingsley credits the care she received from the Center for Integrative Care with accelerating her treatment. “At each doctor appointment my surgeon and oncologist were pleasantly surprised by how quickly and well I was healing. I believe it was a direct result of the care I received from Kate and Ann. Their dedication and ability are undeniable and played a huge role in my recovery…I am so grateful and cancer free!”

Harry Reed, 82, Boulder, CO

“Skilled, easy to work with, smart and humorous”

In his own words: “I have benefitted greatly from the services I have received at the Tebo Center for Integrative Care. I work with Ann for massage and lymphedema therapy and Kate for acupuncture on alternate weeks. They are skilled, easy to work with, smart and humorous. Both have given me tips on diet and exercises to do on my own. Kate was especially helpful in advising me about protein intake and brands. Ann educated me on the management and control of the lymphedema in my legs and feet. I would recommend the Integrative Care Center to anyone with the kind of medical needs that introduced me to this center.”