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Music therapy soothes Jenny on cancer journey

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Music therapy soothes Jenny on cancer journey

Jenny is one of our patients benefiting from music therapy at the Mater Cancer Care Centre.  After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2003, Jenny went into remission after treatment, but sadly her cancer returned in 2014.

“I know I can’t get through my cancer without music therapy. It’s as simple as that. It’s a huge thing that’s happening to you when you have cancer,” said Jenny.

“You have to make a ‘new’ way of life around you, and music therapy is a part of my new life and a holistic approach to my treatment,” she said.

A professional trained Opera singer who has performed overseas in London, Jenny felt empowered by music to get her through some of the darker times while she was receiving treatment.

“When I tell people ‘sorry I can’t see you today because I’m going to music therapy’, they ask what is it all about – I tell them that its laughter, its humour, it’s about learning in a different way, music therapy is great,” Jenny said.

“It helps me to relax in a safe environment where I can choose to sing or write.”

Music therapy at the Mater Cancer Care Centre provides patients with the chance to address the psychological, emotional, social, physical and physiological impact of their illness while they work through the significant life change they are experiencing.

This research-based program is just one part of Mater’s programs that offers an integrated approach to cancer care for any patient.

Mater Music Therapist Dr Jeanette Kennelly said the therapy empowers patients to share their feelings in a different way.

“Music therapy provides a safe space for patients to talk about other things going on in their lives,” Jeanette said.

“Patients don’t always talk about their treatment, sometimes just singing a song or playing a favourite piece of music is enough to help pull them out of an anxious or low moment.

“It’s the music that provides the access point to talking about their cancer journey,” she said.

Jenny credits music therapy for helping her being able to work through her cancer diagnosis and ongoing treatment.

“Music therapy is a breath of fresh air, because I don’t have to think about my cancer. It provides me with an outlet and it’s a joy,” said Jenny.

Jenny has a CD entitled Jenny’s Journey.

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Tags: Mater, Mater Cancer Care, Music Therapy