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Published on November 01, 2018

person standing on rock in water

Cancer and spirituality

Often, people diagnosed with cancer begin to look more deeply for meaning in their lives. They may want to understand their greater purpose or why they developed cancer. In these instances, spirituality—the way you look at the world and how you make sense of your place in it—can become increasingly important.

Spirituality can include faith or religion, beliefs, values and "reasons for being." Everyone has their own definition. Some people feel most spiritual while at church. Others do so while meditating, teaching, volunteering, being in nature or even reading. Having cancer may lead you to think about what you believe and explore different paths.

Gundersen recognizes the important role spirituality may play in your cancer journey. That’s why we offer a variety of spirituality resources, including an on-call chaplain at all of our hospitals 24 hours per day.

In addition to a chaplain, our Worship Center and its adjoining patio and courtyard in the La Crosse hospital are welcoming spaces for all. They are open around the clock, every day of the year. A Service of Inspiration and Reflection is held every Sunday evening at 6:30 p.m. Worship services take place on special holidays, too.

A Healing Garden also is available on the La Crosse campus. This space offers a calm and relaxing environment. A water feature adds to the peaceful nature of the garden, while a skylight lets in an abundance of natural light.

If you prefer to be outside, the Patient and Visitor Terrace is an open-air option that provides tables, chairs and benches to visit with loved ones or to spend some moments alone.

Get more information about Gundersen's spirituality resources, or visit them in-person:

Worship Center-La Crosse
Level 1 Medical Center
Near elevator F

Healing Garden
Level 1 Medical Center
Across from the 500 Club Bistro

Patient and Visitor Terrace
Level 3 Medical Center

*Article adapted from the National Cancer Institute.

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