When one of my best friends shown above was diagnosed with cancer my whole perspective on the world changed. The words “you have cancer” are words that pose a threat on how you live every second of everyday for the rest of your life. They not only affect the way you see the world, but you must develop a way in which to cope with this major stress. Art is a way in which my friend found to be stress relieving and therapeutic in Boston. The few times I’ve traveled with her, I’ve seen the impact that art has on not only my friend, but other patients too. For one, there are giant glowing changing murals throughout the pediatric unit. Below is one image of the changing colorful wall; when you walk past it different things in the images move.
The kids get mesmerized by the beautiful bright colors, allowing art to distract them from the pain they are going through everyday. Art encourages them to act like a kid for once, rather than dealing with what are suppose to be adult issues, such as death. There’s also many arts and craft areas near where they get chemo, and while they’re getting treated they can paint, color, listen to soothing music, and much more. Art is used as a tool to lower suffering, and distracts patients from the pain they are going through during extremely hard times in their life. The picture below to the left if an example of art areas where kids can calm down during and after receiving treatment.
Boston Children’s Hospital also created a Chefs Playhouse shown in the picture above on the right. They enhance this pediatrics café using Art as tool while using beautiful lights and calming music in the background!
To me, art is anything that promotes emotion or allows for a connection between the piece of art someone has created, and the viewer looking at the art. In this case, art in the hospitals promotes healing of the mind and body, and truly calms the mind by looking at something besides the treatment they are going though. It helps to bring happiness during the darkest of times, something these patients need. I interviewed my Aunt, Celeste Saucier, who is a nurse at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester and works in the Chronic Care Unit. She first mentions that her “chronic care patients have a lot of daily challenges. The art that the Elliot has, helps them to step away, even for a moment, from their day to day struggles and breath and relax”. This helps to show that art is something many patients around the world need, for it allows them to take a deep breath and forget about what they are going through. Art impacts hospital patients by distracting them at their most vulnerable moments. I proceeded to ask her what her favorite, most inspirational piece of art in the hospital is. She answered back saying “one piece of art that many compliments on are the frames of colorful sea glass”. Later she added that “it brings their minds to the beach… warm sand, bright sun, and the sound of the waves, ultimately very soothing to these patients during these hard times”. This interview made me realize art not only helps pediatric patients, but also adults going through very hard times.
Art can be used around the world in hospitals to simply allow them to forget what they’re going through. This has been very relative to my life as my friend is becoming more and more weak from her aggressive cancer. If art can make her remember the good times, that would be amazing, for seeing her suffer breaks my heart. This art, which is used as therapy, is so important around the world to promote healing, and in my future will be important to the patients I will treat when I’m a nurse.
Rethinking how art can influence anyone suffering is truly inspirational. While talking to my Aunt, and reflecting on the past three years of Maddie fighting against Cancer, I see how powerful a mural can be in escaping the worst time of your life, even for a few moments. During these times you take learn to take nothing for granted, for within any second everything can change. Before encountering this project, I didn’t really think about how much an impact art can have on someone, especially when they’re suffering. Reflecting on this experience I’m happy to realize the impact art can have on the mind and body if you simply look in the right places. The picture below is of my friends little friends, who are shown painting and having fun while getting treatment
For some, these are patients last week, day, or hour of living. Personally, I have seen my friend suffer like no other; whether it was when she went to the hair dresser not for a hair cut but to shave her twelve inches of hair off her head, or the time where she thought she was cancer free but got re-diagnosed with three aggressive cancerous tumors in her lungs. If art can help patients smile one last time, then it is vitally important around the world to give them one more thing to look forward to. Around the world loved ones are going to get sick, whether now or in the future, art can help ease their pain, even if it helps them feel happy one last time in their life.
Celeste Saucier. Interview. March 10, 2018