Last updated 2:50AM ET
December 11, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
Durango Cancer Center Opens Doors
(2007-04-27)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A new facility to help those with cancer opens tomorrow in Durango.
KSUT's Victor Locke and Beth Warren report.

VICTOR: The Durango Cancer Resource Center at Mercy Medical Center, a service of the American Cancer Society, holds a grant opening tomorrow.
KSUT's Beth Warren spoke about the center recently, with Ginna Harbison, the Cancer Society's Quality of Life Relationship Manager.
GINNA: WHEN I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER IN JANUARY OF 2005, I DIDN'T REACH OUT TO THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY. I CAN'T SAY I DIDN'T KNOW IT EXISTED, YOU CAN'T LIVE IN AMERICA AND NOT KNOW THAT. BUT I DIDN'T HAVE A CLUE OF WHAT SERVICES THEY OFFERED NOR DID I HAVE A CLUE OF WHERE THEY WERE IN DURANGO. NOW, WORKING FOR THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY, MY MISSION IS THAT EVERYBODY IN DURANGO KNOWS WHERE WE ARE AND HOW WE CAN HELP.
BETH: This is Beth Warren, and I'm visiting with Ginna Harson, the Quality of Life manager for the American Cancer Society and we are literally in the Cancer Resource Center. And how do you define your services?
GINNA: ANYTHING THAT A CANCER PATIENT NEEDS, WE'RE HERE FOR THAT PURPOSE. THEY CAN COME TO US AND IF WE DON'T PROVIDE THAT SERVICE, WE FIND SOMEONE ELSE WHO DOES PROVIDE THAT SERVICE. WE HAVE AVAILABLE FREE WIGS. WE HAVE FREE HEAD COVERINGS, EVERYTHING FROM KERCHIEFS TO TURBANS TO STRAW HATS IN THE SUMMER AND KNITTED HATS IN THE WINTER. WE PROVIDE PEOPLE HERE, VOLUNTEERS , WHO WILL HELP YOU GET RIDES TO TREATMENT FROM PAGOSA, CORTEZ AND DURANGO. AND WE ALSO PROVIDE FREE MOTEL ROOMS FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE COMING FOR TREATMENT AND THEY ARE TRAVELING MORE THAN AN HOUR.
BETH: As a cancer survivor, are there phases you see people go through as they first seek out information?
GINNA: DEFINITELY IT'S SORT OF LIKE A PUNCH IN THE STOMACH AT FIRST. YOU ARE SPEECHLESS. I HAD TO SPEND A DAY READING AND WATCHING A MOVIE TO TUNE IT ALL OUT. FOR ME I JUST DID THAT ONE DAY, SOME PEOPLE HAVE TO GO THROUGH THAT STAGE LONGER. THEN I SOUGHT INFORMATION, BUT I SOUGHT IT ON THE INTERNET. WHAT I'D LIKE PEOPLE TO KNOW IS NOT ONLY CAN WE HELP THEM SEARCH THE INTERNET HERE WITH THE COMPUTER, BUT WE ALSO HAVE PRINTED LITERATURE, MANY THINGS THEY CAN HAVE FREE, PAMPHLETS AND THEN GREAT BOOKS IN OUR LENDING LIBRARY.
BETH: The support of hair loss and physical changes due to surgery is so important to the mental health of a cancer patient. Tell me the different programs you have with that because it extends beyond the wigs and the hair covering.
GINNA: ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR AND MOST FUN PROGRAMS THAT THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY HAS IS CALLED LOOK GOOD, FEEL BETTER. NOW, UNFORTUNATELY IT'S FOR WOMEN ONLY GENTLEMEN, I'M SORRY TO TELL YOU THAT. BUT WHAT WE DO IS WE DO MAKEOVERS ON FEMALE CANCER PATIENTS AND WE INVITE THEM TO LET US KNOW THEY ARE INTERESTED. WE TAKE THEIR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER AND AS SOON AS WE HAVE THREE OR MORE WE SET UP A CLASS. WE HOLD THESE CLASSES IN PAGOSA, CORTEZ, FARMINGTON AND DURANGO. DURING THAT TIME OF YOUR MAKEOVER YOU ALSO GET TIPS ON NAIL CARE, SKIN CARE, AND YOU GO HOME WITH A KIT OF PRODUCTS, TOP NAME PRODUCTS THAT ARE DONATED AND IT'S A KIT WORTH OVER 200-DOLLARS. SO IT'S A WONDERFUL TIME OF SHARING, CARING AND LEARNING. THERE ARE A LOT OF RESOURCES, BUT I THINK PROBABLY THE BIGGEST RESOURCE IS WE DIRECT PEOPLE TO SUPPORT GROUPS. WHAT'S GOING ON INSIDE YOUR MIND, INSIDE YOUR BODY NEED TO BE REACHED TOO, AND THE BEST WAY TO HELP THAT IS TO SHARE WITH OTHER PEOPLE THAT KNOW WHAT YOU'RE FEELING, THAT ARE EXPERIENCING THAT TOO. SO THE SUPPORT GROUPS IN OUR FOUR CORNERS AREA TOUCH ALL TYPES OF CANCER, SOME ARE VERY SPECIFIC, SOME ARE ONLY FOR BREAST OR ONLY FOR MEN WITH PROSTATE, BUT OTHERS ARE MORE GENERAL.
BETH: Who should know about the services here at the Durango Cancer Resource Center.
GINNA: WE CALL A CAREGIVER ANYBODY WHO LIVES WITH, LOVES OR WANTS TO HELP A CANCER PATIENT. IN OTHER WORDS, A CAREGIVER ISN'T SOMEBODY WHO'S HIRED BY HOME HEALTH. A CAREGIVER IS SOMEONE WHO CARES. THOSE ARE THE PEOPLE WHO REALLY NEED TO KNOW WHERE WE ARE, WHAT WE HAVE AND THEN THOSE PEOPLE CAN HELP THAT CANCER PATIENT. THE CANCER PATIENT THEMSELVES ALSO NEED INFORMATION BUT THEY MIGHT NOT BE EMOTIONALLY READY TO REACH OUT AND THAT'S SOMETHING A CAREGIVER CAN DO FOR THEM.
BETH: Did you find in your experience there's such a thing as too much information?
GINNA: BAD INFORMATION, NEGATIVE INFORMATION WOULD BE THE TOO MUCH INFORMATION. YOU CAN NEVER HAVE TOO MANY FACTS, BUT A PATIENT DOES NOT NEED TO HEAR FROM A LOVING PERSON THEIR NEGATIVE EXPERIENCE BECAUSE ALL CANCER PATIENTS RESPOND DIFFERENTLY.
BETH: Congratulations Ginna to you and all the folks working so hard here at the Cancer Resource Center.
GINNA: THANKS BETH, I APPRECIATE THE TIME YOU'VE GIVEN US.
VICTOR: Again, the Durango Cancer Resource Center grand opening is tomorrow, from 9-1 at their offices at the new Mercy Regional Medical Center, with a ribbon cutting at ten.
The Center, and the local American Cancer Society are supported in a large part by the annual Relay for Life, which will be held June 8th and 9th in Durango.
If you need more info or would like to volunteer, call 247-0278 and press option 3.
From KSUT, Four Corner's Public Radio, I'm Victor
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