Support Visits from our Chaplain
Many cancer patients rely on spiritual and/or religious beliefs and practices to help them cope with their disease. At the Carle Cancer Institute Normal, our chaplain is available to provide spiritual care and counseling for patients and their loved ones. The chaplain can offer support, prayer and healing practices for body and spirit including meditation, guided imagery and relaxation techniques. The chaplain can also help patients and caregivers access local religious groups and sacraments.
Some of the reasons you may want to visit with the chaplain:
- You are having a hard time coping.
- You are feeling anxious, afraid, guilty, discouraged, sad or lonely.
- You need to talk about meaning or purpose in life.
- When spirituality is a source of strength and meaning for you.
- When you are struggling with faith or religious beliefs.
- To discuss your advance care planning and prepare advance directives.
- Your condition worsens and you are in need of end-of-life support.
- You just want someone to listen.
The chaplain is onsite Monday through Friday. If you would like to schedule a spiritual care visit, please call 309-451-2259.
Our Interfaith Chapel provides a place for prayer, reflection, and contemplation for all faith traditions. Those who are looking for a sacred spot for some quiet time are invited to use this welcoming space.
When the Interfaith Chapel was completed in July 2015, this space was intended as a sacred place for those seeking a special spiritual relationship or time to reflect. Prayer requests can be written in the book provided. Prayer materials are also available in the Chapel.
It is located in the west-central side of the center, across from the wall waterfall. The Carle Cancer Institute Normal is focused on providing comprehensive spiritual care for all who enter. For those seeking additional guidance, our chaplain is a member of ordained clergy.
The Healing Garden provides a peaceful place of refuge, meditation, restoration and promotes a sense of well-being and healing for our patients, families, and staff. Open during regular Insitute hours; it is located on the west-side of our building and can be accessed directly through the doors located in the Resource Center and Medical Oncology reception area.
Labyrinths are used for reflection, meditation, prayer, and comfort. When you walk a labyrinth, you meander back and forth. As you shift your direction, you also shift your awareness from right brain to left brain. This is one of the reasons the labyrinth can induce a more receptive state of awareness and spirituality. Our meditation labyrinth is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Wall of Hope
The Wall of Hope was created in October 2013 to bring inspiring images of hope to all who come to the Carle Cancer Institute Normal. The artworks for this wall were designed by patients, family members, caregivers and staff to depict their experience of hope in the midst of cancer. Two large paintings were created and donated by artist Michael Dubina. The Wall of Hope was made possible with the generous support from the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation with the assistance from many volunteers, including students and faculty of Illinois State University and artists of the Bloomington-Normal community.
Interested in purchasing a book featuring paintings from the Wall of Hope?
Follow these steps:
- First, go to the shutterfly.com to look for codes for free shipping and current discounts. (Be sure to write down the codes. They may let you use more than one discount per order.)
- Then go to https://communitycancercenter.shutterfly.com/
- Click on the WOH soft cover or hard cover book.
- Click on “order book.”
- If you are not a Shutterfly member, set up your own account.
- Go to “continue to cart.”
- To get the best price, be sure to include any current promotion discount codes.
Assistance with Advance Directives
You have the right to make decisions about the health care you receive now and in the future. Documents known as “advance directives” are written statements declaring how you want medical decisions made if you can no longer make them for yourself. Federal law requires that you be told of your right to make an advance directive when you are admitted to a healthcare facility. Illinois law allows for the following types of advance directives:
- Living Will
Tells your healthcare professional whether you want death-delaying procedures used if you have a terminal condition and are unable to state your wishes.
- Health Care Power of Attorney
Lets you choose someone to make healthcare decisions for you in the future, if you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself.
- Mental Health Treatment Preference Declaration
Lets you say if you want to receive electroconvulsive treatment (ECT) or psychotropic medicine when you have a mental illness and are unable to make these decisions for yourself. It also allows you to say whether you wish to be admitted to a mental health facility for up to 17 days of treatment.
- Do-not-resuscitate order (DNR) Practitioners Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST)
Is a medical treatment order that says cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) will not be used if your heart and/or breathing stops; it can also be used to record your desires for life-sustaining treatment.
You should talk with your family, your healthcare professional, your attorney, and any agent or attorney-in-fact that you appoint about your decision to make one or more advance directives or a DNR/POLST order. If they know what health care you want, they will find it easier to follow your wishes.
If you would like to receive an Advance Directive packet of information and forms, contact the Carle Cancer Institute Normal Chaplain, at (309) 451-2259 or the social worker at (309) 451-2217.
Helpful website providing more information about Advance Directives:
National Cancer Institute
End of Life Services
A life threatening illness often leads us to grapple with a wide range of emotions, questions, and concerns. Many of these feelings – including fear, anger, powerlessness – are signs of spiritual distress. As we face death, we may experience solace and comfort in feeling appreciated, sharing our life stories, and expressing gratitude and hope. Spiritual care encourages reflection on successes and failures, hopes and sorrows, values, goals, and wishes.
The chaplain is available to provide support at end of life including:
- Help identify sources of spiritual comfort and hope
- Explore the meaning and purpose of life
- Facilitate a review of life’s high points and challenges
- Assist with healing relationships, facing fears, and overcoming regrets
- Offer music, meditation, blessings, or prayers to soothe the spirit
- Arrange for religious sacraments or rituals
- Assistance with funeral/memorial services
If you would like to schedule a spiritual care visit, please call 451-2259.
Learn more about end of life care at the National Cancer Institute's website.
Bereavement Support and Counseling
Most of us will experience grief at some point in our lives following the death of a loved one. While grief is made up of intense emotional and physical reactions that are characterized by deep sadness and a yearning to be with that person again, how we react will be different for each of us because grief is unique.
Unfortunately, Western society isn’t very good at dealing with grief. We tend to want a quick fix. But grief doesn’t work in this way; there are no timetables or set rules to follow.
If you are dealing with the death of a loved one, grief can be a very lonely and isolating experience. Working out what you need to do to help yourself during this time is important.
People who are grieving need to be able to:
- Tell their story
- Seek support from family, friends or community groups
- Look after their physical and mental health because grief is a major stressor
- Give themselves permission to grieve
- Find ways to regain a sense of control in their lives
- Adapt to life without their loved one
The chaplain is available to provide support to bereaved family members and friends following the death of a patient. Bereavement support comes in a variety of forms including:
- Information about grief and what to expect
- Information on local grief support groups
- Individual visits to review coping and discuss available options
- Memorial services
Helpful websites providing information on grief: