“Don’t be shy. It is not a sign of weakness to want a person of faith by your side at a time like this,” says Rhonda Cooper, an oncology chaplain at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center in Baltimore. If you are struggling to understand why you have cancer, are feeling a range of emotions from guilt to anger, or feel isolated from your faith community, our experts in spiritual and pastoral care can help you as well as your family members in a non-denominational setting. As you progress on your cancer journey, our chaplains can:
- Make sure your religious traditions and practices are observed as fully as possible. For example, Communion and Anointing of the Sick can be provided during your hospital stay.
- Offer you comfort in times of spiritual distress and anxiety. Listening to your concerns is at the heart of the Chaplain’s practice.
- Pray with you during your treatment. You may want to pray with a Chaplain, as a source of comfort and support during your treatment
- Support your family and friends. Chaplains also are available to support your personal support team. You also can ask a chaplain to participate in physician-family conferences.
- Talk with you about end-of-life decisions. Chaplains can assist you in completing advance directives, including a selection of a health care agent, treatment preferences (living will), and decisions about organ donation.
Your doctor, nurse or social worker can contact a chaplain for you. Here’s a video with Chaplain Cooper to get you started:
Find out more about the full range of spiritual support services at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, and look for other useful resources in our Patient and Family Education pages.