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Patient Stories

Maja’s Story: How Integrative Health Helped Me through Chemotherapy

In addition to living with a rare lung disease for the past 20 years, Maja Flannery was diagnosed with endometrial cancer in 2021. Though surgery removed the actual cancer, chemotherapy was recommended to address any other possible unidentified cancer that might have been left. Maja was torn about going through with the chemo due to her underlying lung disease concerns. She thought to herself – “Would my body be able to make it through this next phase?”

As Maja tried to reach a decision, one of her good friends suggested Maja research the benefits of integrative health. Taking her advice, Maja searched the web and found Dr. Golubic who “opened the door to the world of Integrative Health and all the wonderful people that are part of this community.” After a Lifestyle Medicine Consultation with Dr. Golubic, Maja knew she had found what she was searching for – she received the tools that she needed to get through her chemo treatment.

Acupuncture with Angela helped get Maja’s body ready for chemo, yoga with Tina helped Maja relax during her chemo treatments and Dr. Walker’s mindfulness meditation has saved Maja stress and heartache. Thanks to the Osher Center for Integrative Health at the University of Cincinnati, Maja has the tools she needs to make it through the acute phase of cancer treatments, the recovery phase, and now through the survivorship phase.

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Kathy's Story: Cancer Wellness Clinic Provides Support While Facing Uterine Cancer

“I quickly realized that the Cancer Center is very integrated with other disciplines,” Kathy said. “If I have questions, they always answer. They make me feel important.” Part of Kathy’s treatment included participating in the Cancer Center’s Survivorship Program, which gives patients additional resources they can use throughout their cancer journey, even after it’s done.

These resources include exercise wellness, physical therapy, yoga, massage therapy and acupuncture. In partnership with The Osher Center for Integrative Health, the Cancer Center opened the region’s first Integrative Health & Cancer Survivorship Clinic in February 2021, which is led by Mladen Golubic, MD, PhD, UC Health physician, medical director for UC Health Integrative Health and professor of family and integrative health at the UC College of Medicine, and Melissa Erickson, MD, medical director of the Cancer Center’ Survivorship Program and an adjunct assistant professor at the UC College of Medicine.

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Pete’s Story: From Pain to Wellness

pete and his wife pose together at a bengals game

Pictured: Dr. Golubic joined Pete on center court at the UC Men’s Basketball Game as Pete rang the cancer bell to celebrate the completion of his treatment on World Cancer Day.

Retired P&G researcher, Pete Ventura is a chronic lymphocytic leukemia survivor who was experiencing chronic fatigue, chronic pain in his legs and feet, and side effects from his type 2 diabetes.

Referred by his blood cancer physician, Pete connected with Dr. Golubic for a Lifestyle Medicine Consultation and received a personalized self-care plan incorporating a plant-based diet, mindfulness and meditation and physical activity guidance.

Within three months of positive lifestyle changes, Pete’s chronic pain is essentially resolved, his type 2 diabetes has greatly improved, and he now has enough energy to complete 18 holes of golf without needing a long nap during the day!

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Mark’s Story: Ditching Daily Painkillers for Stomach Pain after Switching to a Healthy Diet

mark restoring a piece of furniture

Pictured: One of Mark’s passions is helping local charities. Now that he’s thriving, he’s back to building baby cribs for the Rose Garden Mission.

Mark’s bile duct cancer was successfully treated in 2020 after numerous therapies including the Whipple procedure – where part of his pancreas, bile duct, gallbladder, lymph nodes, and small intestine were removed.

Although Mark was cancer free, his life was put on hold due to serious stomach issues and pain. For over two years, Mark spent most of his days curled up in a ball – knees near chest – with the only sense of temporary relief coming from daily painkillers and muscle relaxers. At this point, he felt hopeless and was ready to get off the medications and get on with his life.

Mark was eventually referred to Angela Lai, Licensed Acupuncturist at the Osher Center for Integrative Health at the University of Cincinnati, and he describes the first day that he sat down with her as the day that his healing journey began. Not only did Angela provide relief through acupuncture, but she also created a personalized diet plan for him that would lead to a painless, drug-free life. Within two weeks of incorporating his new diet, Mark ditched the painkillers and is back to enjoying his hobbies and time with his wife, children, and grandkids.

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Osher Center for Integrative

Medical Sciences Building Suite 4358
231 Albert Sabin Way
PO Box 670582 
Cincinnati, OH 45267-0582

Mail Location: 0582
Phone: 513-558-2310
Fax: 513-558-3266