Patient & Family Support

Being well is about more than keeping our bodies healthy or undergoing clinical treatment for our illnesses.  Because we believe we must care for the entire person, St. Mary's Regional Cancer Center offers a variety of support and educational programs for people living with cancer and those who love them.  Supportive programs have been shown to help reduce fatigue, worry, and sleeplessness, so you can return to wellness sooner.

Cancer Rehabilitation Program

Our Cancer Rehabilitation Program, offered through St. Mary's Life Center, is committed to improving quality of life for cancer patients through individualized rehabilitation exercise. Sessions help patients maximize independence in daily activities, improve strength and endurance, decrease fatigue, and manage pain.

Our therapists develop individualized exercise plans based on muscle strength and endurance, cardiopulmonary function, lifestyle, activity and fatigue levels. Our rehab team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and exercise physiologists with specialized training in cancer rehabilitation, are also available to help with lymphedema management, energy conservation, dietary consultation, relaxation techniques, and warm water pool therapy.

Cancer Survivorship Resource Center

St. Mary's Cancer Survivorship Program educates, supports, and empowers those affected by cancer to take charge of their cancer so they can truly thrive.  Survivorship embraces the physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and economic aspects of life that may be influenced by cancer at any time, from prevention and diagnosis through treatment and all remaining years of life, for the person with cancer and those who love them.

Housed in the cancer center's library, the Survivorship Program provides free, educational books and pamphlets, online research assistance, and audio-visual resources addressing the medical, emotional, and practical challenges faced by cancer survivors, in both English and Spanish.  There are also free hats and scarves for those who have lost their hair. In addition, 9 educational and support groups meet monthly at the Cancer Center, retreats are offered in the summer, and there are regular art exhibits in lobby. Survivorship Program services are available to anyone touched by cancer, including survivors, family members, and friends, whether they received treatment at St. Mary's or elsewhere.

Established in 2006 with support from the LIVESTRONGTM Foundation, St. Mary's Cancer Survivorship Program was among the first in the country.

To learn more about the LIVESTRONGTM Foundation, visit  

Over 20 Educational & Healing Classes (Support Groups)

St. Mary's Regional Cancer Center offers many programs for people living with cancer and those who love them.  All groups are free and led by trained instructors and meet at St. Mary's Advanced Medicine Pavilion, 750 Wellington Avenue, Entrance 25, Grand Junction, CO. You do not need to be a patient of St. Mary's to attend.  For more information, call (970) 298-7500. 

Art Exploration Class
Meets the second and fourth Mondays of the month from 4:00-5:30 pm. No classes June, July, or August. Oncology Conference Room.
Local exceptional artists teach classes in pastels, acrylics, charcoal, watercolor, sculpture, and collage.  All materials are provided.

Breast Friends Breast Cancer Support Group
Meets the third Tuesday of the month from 5:00-6:30 p.m.
Helping women affected by breast cancer cope with their diagnosis, treatment, and recovery by sharing concerns while taking a problem solving approach.

Healing Hands Hour
Meets Thursdays from noon-1:00 p.m. Reflection Room.
Energy therapy involves the belief that the body has energy fields that can be used for healing and wellness.  Compliments traditional medical care, and does not require touch.

Leukemia, Lymphoma, & Myeloma Support Group
Meets the second Thursday of the month from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Reflection Room.
Share your fears, joys, questions, and concerns in a safe, confidential environment with other patients and their families who are affected by blood cancers.

Living Well After Treatment
Meets the third Monday of the month from 5:00-6:30 pm. Oncology Conference Room.
Designed to support and educate people as they finish active cancer treatment. Monthly physician speakers provide the tools to help participants move forward with confidence.

Look Good, Feel Better
Meets the last Wednesday of the month from 2:00-4:00 p.m.
Certified beauty professionals provide tips to help women in cancer treatment defy the appearance-related side effects.  Each guest receives a complimentary make-up kit and refreshments.  Register by calling the American Cancer Society at 254-5581.

MACHO - Men Against Cancer Helping Others
Meets the second Wednesday of the month from 5:00-6:30 p.m. Java City Cafe.
MACHO is an informal association of men providing social support and interpersonal assistance to others who are also dealing with cancer as patients, survivors, and caregivers.

Yoga for Life
Meets Mondays from 5:45-7:00 p.m. Oncology lobby fireplace area.
Our gentle classes practice basic yoga stretches and movements, giving attention to breathing, and are designed specifically for cancer patients and their supporters.  Bring your own mat or rug.

Relaxation Yoga
Meets Thursdays from 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.  Life Center Aerobics Room, 2686 Patterson

This yoga class moves slow, and most poses are siting or reclining with pillows and blankets. Beginners will enjoy this reflective time with work on breathing and posture. 
Bring your own mat or rug. 

Educational & Healing Classes (Support Groups)--Off Campus

Caregiver Connections
Meets Tuesdays from 10:00-11:30 am at the Miller Homestead (HopeWest), 3090 N. 12th Street. Call Terry at 970-260-8931 for information.

Support Group for People with Head and Neck Cancer
Meets the first Tuesday of the month from 6:30-8:00 pm at Colorado West Otolaryngologist, 426 Patterson Road, Sutie 503 (St. Mary's Hospital, use Entrance 5). Call Nancy at 970-245-2400 for information.

Genetic Counseling

Our part time board-certified genetic counselor offers genetic counseling and risk assessment for hereditary cancers.  Cancer genetic risk counseling includes: 1) education about the genes that predispose an individual to cancer; 2) evaluation of family cancer histories; 3) discussion of testing procedures and the benefits and limitations of genetic testing; and 4) a review of ethical concerns related to genetic testing and the impact to family members.

Nutritional Services

Good nutrition is an important factor during cancer treatment and in the prevention of recurrence. Patients may receive a physician referral for nutrition consultation to help maintain or improve their nutritional status before, during, and after their cancer treatments. The Regional Cancer Center's full-time oncology services dietitian assists with developing nutritional plans for a variety of needs including enteral and parentral nutrition.   The dietitian also helps patients make decisions about the use of complementary therapies such as glutamine and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation during treatment.

The dietitian is a frequent participant and presenter of nutritional information at support groups for oncology patients and their families.  As part of the multi-disciplinary Head and Neck Clinic, the dietitian is a key member of the team that addresses the follow-up needs  of patients treated for cancer of the head and neck.

Social Services

Cancer can change a person's life in a moment, and our on-site licensed clinical social worker helps patients and their families through a difficult time. Our social worker is a key member of our cancer resource team.and helps patients through their cancer journey with brief individual and family counseling, addressing work related and health insurance issues, and by providing cancer education and discharge planning.

Social workers help patients navigate the healthcare system and help identify local and national programs and resources such as Social Security Disability, Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), Medicare, and Medicaid benefits. These services can make a difference in a patient's ability to afford care and cover their living expenses. Our Social Worker partners with patients and St. Mary's financial counselors to ensure no patient goes without care due to financial circumstances. Their services are available to any one affected by cancer whether they received treatment at St. Mary's or elsewhere.

Spiritual Care

The healthcare chaplains of St. Mary's Spiritual Care Department understand that medical care is only part of a patient's experience with a cancer diagnosis. Respectful of all faiths and belief systems, a chaplain provides spiritual and emotional support based upon the unique needs of each patient. During times of serious illness, chaplains listen, comfort and guide patients and families through difficult discussions and decisions. They may also offer techniques for relaxation, guided imagery, prayer and meditation to enhance healing. 

Recognizing the patient's right to make important personal healthcare decisions, chaplains can help the patient plan and make choices regarding the kinds of medical treatments they wish to receive. This planning promotes understanding among patients, families, and their doctors about their wishes for life-prolonging medical treatements and/or medically assisted nutrition and hydration. 

Focusing on hope and healing, chaplains assist patients in finding meaning and making sense of life-threatening illness.  A chaplain may encourage a patient to get in touch with a church, spiritual community, or other sources of comfort and support.  Along with social services and nursing personnel, chaplains can refer patients and their families to a variety of supportive care programs and integrative medicine resources..

A board certified clinical chaplain is available to provide spiritual and emotional support to oncology patients and their families in the hospital and in the Cancer Center.  Patients, families, and visitors are also welcome to visit the center's reflection room adjacent to the chaplain's office.