"When I was diagnosed with stage IV colorectal cancer (metastases to the liver), I decided to seek out anything that would help my recovery. I had a very intense regimen of radiation (daily) and two chemos for 5 ½ weeks. I started weekly myokinesthetic treatments and acupuncture before beginning my regimen, and they helped me experience very few side effects throughout my regimen. Some days before coming to Duke IM, I was tired and having some pain; I always left with more energy for the day and my pain would subside over the next 24 hours. My appetite and energy levels both remained strong during this intense chemotherapy and radiation treatment and that is so important."
"I feel anything we, as patients, can do to take some control over our healing is so important."
"It always gives me that boost I need for the week. The results of my second scan showed much greater success…against the cancer than doctors expected. My last PET scan was clear!"
LB benefited from her work with an Integrative Health Coach—all conducted by telephone from a distance. "It is hard to describe the experience; you had to BE there. It has been fantastic!"
"I have appreciated and enjoyed having a coach to help me with planning and setting goals, to offer advice and point out insights I might have missed, and to help me be accountable for my actions."
"My coach has cheered me on, every step of the way.....and I do mean 'step' because my goal has been to walk each morning - at 5:30am no less! My coach guided me and encouraged me from simply going downstairs and hanging around to taking those first steps to getting fleece clothing in shocking lime green (so no one will run over me and so I'll be warm). I am not walking any marathon mileage, but I am walking....and I know I will increase my distance with time. I feel better, and have found numerous other intangible benefits and insights through the process and through my progress."
C J is a 25 year old who has been in chronic pain since a physically and emotionally traumatic motor vehicle accident in 2001. She also reports difficulty with sleeping, waking frequently throughout the night, and with depression. She came to Duke IM for a three-day Health Immersion with goals of quitting smoking, losing weight, decreasing pain and improving energy. During her acupuncture session and her yoga session each therapist noted a slight difference in her leg length, affecting her hips as well as her posture and gait. Core recommendations included new sneakers (fitted at a specialty sports shop) and yoga therapy focusing on posture and balance. Both of these interventions proved extremely beneficial along with hypnosis, nutrition (anti-inflammatory diet) and individual mindfulness based stress reduction beginner training.
"By the third day of my Health Immersion, I hadn't smoked any cigarettes since the first morning, slept through the night, and hadn't needed to take any pain medicine at all for the first time since my accident in 2001."
Nearly four years ago, RC was diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that left her joints ravaged and her blood vessels inflamed. To make matters worse, she suffered a drug side effect—hearing loss—while undergoing treatment. She was in chronic pain, feeling frustrated, and looking for answers. Then in 2008, she had another medical scare. RC was told she needed to reduce her cholesterol or possibly end up a candidate for bypass surgery. Given her history with drug side effects, RC balked at the idea of taking anti-cholesterol pills. Instead—and with the support of her Duke cardiologist--she decided to become a member of Duke IM and to work with an Integrative Health Coach. "If I didn’t have coaching, I would have given up. You need people who can keep the whole picture in mind of all of your conditions and be able to guide you…When I received dietary suggestions for reducing my cholesterol I became overwhelmed, attempting every recipe I could find. My coach encouraged me to try just one new recipe a week. My sanity saved, a year later I now have a helpful collection of recipes. I used to blame myself for not being able to do what I needed to."
"Now I know that everything I need to do to enhance my healing exists at Duke Integrative Medicine."
"Today, my LDL cholesterol has dropped from 170 to 115 (on no medication!) If it turns out I need to take medication to control my cholesterol, then I'll do so knowing I am doing all I can to make sure it will be at the lowest dose possible. And I know there will be communication between all my doctors…I feel successful at last."
WS came to Duke Integrative Medicine to prepare for prostate surgery. "My surgery went very well, and I am on the road to recovery. I attribute it all to Duke Integrative Medicine."
"I thank you and your staff for my short hospital stay,the quick recovery, the hypnosis, acupuncture, diet, nutrition, everything."
"I am in a letter writing program with Blue Cross Blue Shield about why they should cover everything you do. Your program saved me and my insurance company a lot of money. Thank you for all the good things that happened to me. I am deeply appreciative."
“After I found a small lump on my left breast, genetic testing revealed that I carried the BRCA1 gene—which meant that I was 60 to 80 percent more likely to get breast cancer. It turned out that the lump in my breast was cancer—and a triple negative tumor—which means it is difficult to treat. In addition to surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, my Duke oncologist suggested I check out Duke Integrative Medicine…I got mind-body therapy, integrative nutrition, hypnotherapy, acupuncture and biodfeedback. The Duke IM staff told me it was their job to give me hope…and my breast cancer was declared in remission on May 27, 2009. My life has completely changed since starting integrative therapies. Don’t get me wrong—it has been a difficult journey. But it has been an amazing one. I am more enlightened now. At first, I was skeptical about trying all these therapies. I thought all this integrative medicine stuff was fluff and not as effective as treatments.”
"I realize now that cancer patients need conventional medicine and alternative therapies to beat this disease—I'm living proof."