HOPE Resource Center at Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care is there to lend a hand

Beverly Cotton of Weare made use of the Payson Center for Cancer Care's Anticancer Lifestyle Program after undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer. She was diagnosed in 2016, but now she feels better than ever. Courtesy of Crystal Carroll
Beverly Cotton of Weare made use of the Payson Center for Cancer Care's Anticancer Lifestyle Program after undergoing treatment for head and neck cancer. She was diagnosed in 2016, but now she feels better than ever. Courtesy of Crystal Carroll

The Payson Center for Cancer Care provides traditional cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation; however, in tandem with the HOPE Resource Center, they truly offer so much more.

The HOPE Resource Center at Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care is there to lend a hand while treating cancer and providing complementary services for the patient, family members and loved ones.

These services were important to cancer survivor Dan Bourquard of Bow during six rounds of chemotherapy to treat his Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma starting in October 2017. Dan was diagnosed after experiencing pain near his shoulder blade following a relaxing weekend at his 40th class reunion in Pittsfield, Mass. Dan knew this pain was abnormal and something he would normally attribute to a strained muscle after yard work or tending to his historical home with his wife, Martha Sawyer.

Dan made an appointment with his doctor. What was initially thought to be a pneumonia diagnosis evolved into a blood clot diagnosis. After additional testing, a biopsy and a few nights at Concord Hospital, Dan was diagnosed with Stage 4 Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.

After chemotherapy treatments, which also included three treatments of high-dose chemotherapy in Boston, Dan had a hard time sleeping. He was introduced to aromatherapy through the HOPE Resource Center. Dan also participated in two Reiki sessions that he said were “very relaxing and mind-clearing.” Dan and Martha also met with social workers at the HOPE Resource Center to help them navigate cancer. When Thanksgiving came around, Dan received most of his nutrition through soups or smoothies. This was all Dan could tolerate because of nausea; however, with the help of Registered Dietitian Megan Ryder, Dan learned how to make accommodations to his meals to ensure appropriate nutrition.

Dan shared that everyone who works at the Payson Center for Cancer Care is on your team, and said “no one should be afraid to walk into the HOPE Resource Center. You are not alone.” Dan will participate in Rock ‘N Race through speaking before the event, and he’s also captain of team Dan B Strong.

In addition to Reiki, aromatherapy, nutritional counseling and meetings with a social worker with oncology expertise, the HOPE Resource Center offers yoga, meditation and acupuncture. Spiritual and financial counseling are also offered.

Thanks to advancements in the prevention, early detection and treatment of cancers, there are nearly 80,000 cancer survivors in New Hampshire. Recognizing this, the Payson Center for Cancer Care created the Anticancer Lifestyle Program, a service that Beverly Cotton of Weare appreciated after treatments for head and neck cancer. This program explains the various ways diet, exercise, stress and other lifestyle factors impact cancer.

Bev feels healthier than ever. She was diagnosed with cancer in May 2016, after discovering an acorn-sized lump on her neck. After her diagnosis, Bev followed a 12-week treatment plan including chemotherapy and radiation. Due to the location of her tumor, Beverly was unable to speak for the entire summer while healing between treatments. This was hard for Bev as she enjoys attending outdoor sporting events with her daughter, Caitlyn.

Now cancer-free, Bev attends a head and neck cancer support group quarterly and enjoys volunteering at Concord Hospital Payson Center for Cancer Care. Bev also enjoys gardening and helping to spread the message about wellness. Bev is volunteering at Rock ‘N Race and is participating in the event on the Anticancer Crusaders team.

So, if you see Dan or Bev at Rock ‘N Race in the crowd on Thursday, please say hello. We look forward to seeing you!

For a complete list of HOPE Resource Center programs and services, visit concordhospital.org/services/cancer-care/resource-center.

Author: Crystal Carroll / For the Insider

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