What is new in the oncology rehab and integrative medicine world...
CRA monthly news & updates
Patient Satisfaction: Client's Insight on Patient Centered Care:
Angela Wicker-Ramos' Article in Impact Private Practice Magazine

At Cancer Rehab Austin (CRA), we conducted a survey with oncology patients asking what patient-centered care means to them and what they would prioritize for their physical therapy care (Figure 1). We were curious if an oncology patient who receives varied forms of treatment, from radiation, chemotherapy, to surgery, would consider the Institute of Medicine’s definition relevant to them. The oncology population is uniquely suited to enrich our understanding of patient-centered care as they are exposed to many different medical practitioners in a short period of time. The survey conducted at CRA had two components: The first was rating six patient priorities (in order of greatest to least importance to the patient), and the second was an open-ended question: “What does the statement patient-centered care mean to you?” The answers to the open-ended question matched some of the principles outlined in the Institute of Medicine’s definition, which is an indicator that patient-centered care has universal tenets. 

Highlights from Dr. Pennebaker's Seminar on Emotional Writing and Immune Function 

Dr. Pennebaker discussed why expressive writing works:

  • It helps us translate an emotional experience
  • When people write they have to tie things together and create a more coherent story
  • Writing helps improve executive functioning, memory, and sleep
  • Writing can also help you become a better listener because you will be more engaged and focussed. 

If you do not like writing, even speaking to yourself out loud can have a similar benefit.

Write in a personal tone and have the intention to destroy your writing after. Do not write as if you are writing for an audience. This will change the way you write and make it less therapeutic. 

Dealing with something traumatic in your life? Give journaling a shot! It may help you place value in trying to understand and get through a trying time.

Meditation and My New Normal:
by   Paige Davis from Soul Sparks
"I first heard the word “new normal” when I was completing my chemotherapy treatments for breast cancer. It was used to describe the “survivorship” period of post-cancer life once the treatments are complete and we enter life with this surreal experience of cancer as something that we endured.  It was a disorienting time to say the least. Without the focus of weekly treatments, I found my emotions had freedom to finally express the trauma I had experienced physically and emotionally. I embraced that this transition involved mourning . Not just over the loss of who I was prior to my diagnosis, but the loss of the community that I came to love and rely on during my treatment.

I knew I didn’t fit exactly in my old life but I wasn’t exactly sure what my new life looked like. The pre-cancer me would have started to panic and plan. But I knew I was living life with a different perspective. My life with cancer exposed me to my spirit in a way where I trusted that I would be guided, supported, and inspired as to what my next steps were. While I didn’t know a lot during this transition time, I knew that the one constant in my life before cancer and after cancer was my meditation practice."

CRA's Upcoming Workshops
Strengthening Relationships with Children in the Midst of a Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer is devastating for the whole family. During this 45 minute presentation, learn how you can support the children in your life and your relationship with them in the midst of your cancer diagnosis. Walk away with tools and techniques on how to communicate about your diagnosis and the changes that are happening in your family.

(Sorry, no childcare will be available)

This event will be located at Wonders and Worries on Burnet Road.

When: June 17th 4:00-5:00 pm

Where: Wonder's and Worries (9101 Burnet Road #107)

Speaker’s Bio:

Kelly Theesfeld has worked with Wonders & Worries, a local non-profit organization that works with children to provide professional support throughout a parent’s illness, for over 5 years. Prior to coming to Austin, she was the Program Director at Angel Foundation in Minneapolis, where she specifically worked with teens who had a parent with cancer. She also conducted research on resiliency in cancer patients at the University of Minnesota School of Social Work. Kelly holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  

The Breast Cancer Journey: Surgical Treatment, Reconstruction and Recovery
Breast reconstruction specialist and board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Christine Fisher discusses the breast cancer journey from diagnosis through treatment and recovery, and how breast reconstruction can be part of the emotional and physical recovery process. She will also talk about surgical options for lymphedema treatment in cases where physical therapy alone isn't enough.

When:  July 13th 6:00-7:30 pm
Where:  Sushi Zushi at the Domain
3221 Feathergrass Court
Austin, TX 78758

Bio for Dr. Christine Fisher

Breast reconstruction specialist Dr. Christine Fisher is inspired daily as she works with her patients on their journey to recovery. With two grandmothers who survived breast cancer, Dr. Fisher strongly believes in the value of emotional and practical support when facing such a diagnosis, which is why her patient care team includes breast cancer survivors. She established her practice after graduating medical school with honors from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and completing her training in plastic surgery and advanced reconstructive surgery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She also studied microsurgical lymph node transfer to treat upper extremity lymphedema in Paris, France. Upon return home to Austin, Dr. Fisher developed a practice focused on reconstructive plastic surgery for women. She serves on the Medical Advisory Committee for the Breast Cancer Resource Center and is a bra designer with Kendra Scott for the organization’s signature fundraiser, Art Bra® Austin. She is also on faculty at the University of Texas Dell Medical School.

How to Manage Your Financial and Medical Affairs During a Time of Crisis

Legal aspects of illness: At some point in your life either through illness or aging you may, even temporarily, be incapable of making legal, financial or medical decisions for yourself. There are ways to prepare for those situations that will save you time, money and reduce your stress.

When: August  26th 2:00-3:30 pm
Where: Cancer Rehab Austin

Presenter Bio:

Virginia Sampson has been an attorney for 35 years. For most of her career she was a litigation attorney. She served several years as a judge. She currently practices law in Austin helping her clients to plan and prepare for a crisis and/or the aging process. She shifted the focus of her practice to help clients preparing for or facing a crisis as a result of her experiences helping her own parents, She prepares powers of attorney documents, Wills,Trusts, etc. and helps clients find ways to pay for long term care. She is accredited with the Veterans Administration to handle VA claims.

Kimberly Speaking About Yoga During Cancer Treatment
New Yoga Classes for Cancer Thrivers
Saturday June 10th 12:00 at Flow Yoga
Monday June 24th 7:30 at Sukha Yoga
Services Offered at CRA
Oncology Physical Therapy

Oncology physical therapy addresses impairments associated with cancer treatment, related to:


  • Strength and range of motion

  • Balance and gait training

  • Scar and tissue tightness and restriction

  • Pain, endurance, balance issues and fatigue

  • Axillary web syndrome (cording)

  • Pelvic floor dysfunction and incontinence

  • Pre-operative mobility assessment

  • Post-operative mobility assessment

  • Individualized post-operative exercise programs

Contact our oncology rehab physical therapist Dr. Angela Wicker-Ramos PT, CLT-LANA for more information or to schedule a session.  (Click here for her bio.)

(512) 524-0964

Lymphedema Treatment

During cancer treatment a person’s lymphatic system can be compromised, which can lead to lymphedema.

Signs of lymphedema may include the following symptoms in the areas of and around where you were treated for cancer:

  • A heavy or achy feeling
  • A tightness or decreased flexibility in the joints and surrounding tissues
  • Noticeable swelling 
  • Pain, numbness or tingling

(If you are experiencing any of these symptoms follow up with a medical doctor on your team immediately.)

Contact our certified lymphedema therapist Dr. Angela Wicker-Ramos PT, CLT-LANA to schedule treatment.  (Click here for her bio.)

(512) 524-0964


Acupuncture as an adjunct to standard oncology therapies can be effective in treating conditions such as:

  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Pain
  • Stress, anxiety and depression
  • Chemo Induced Neuropathy
  • Hot Flashes
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation and Diarrhea
  • Delayed Wound Healing
  • Immune Support
  • Axillary Web Syndrome (cording)

Dr. Agnes Nowakowski L.AC (TX), MACOM, DIPLOM, DOM (FL) is CRA's acupuncturist. (Click here for her bio)

Contact Agnes to schedule an appointment:

(512) 731-2462


Massage Therapy

Oncology massage is designed to meet the unique needs of someone in treatment for cancer or with a history of cancer treatment. An individually tailored session with an oncology-trained massage therapist can yield benefits for nearly all persons affected by cancer. Its benefits include:
  • Reduced pain
  • Decreased anxiety and stress
  • Relief from nausea
  • Diminished peripheral neuropathy
  • Less swelling
  • Increased energy, less fatigue
  • Improved quality of life and sense of well-being

Our massage therapy team consists of:

Geri Ruane LMT, OMT, CLT and Ashley Hiatt LMT, OMT, CMLDT. (Click here for their bios and contact information)

Yoga Therapy

CRA offers private yoga sessions taught by Kimberly Wharton. 

Yoga can be beneficial for those undergoing or recovering from cancer treatment for the following reasons:

  • Decreases anxiety
  • Promotes relaxation
  • Improves flexibility and strength
  • Decreases fatigue
  • Improved lymphatic circulation

Schedule today with Kimberly:

(323) 363-3050


(Click here for Kimberly's bio)

Free Nutritional Consults

Free nutrition consultations are offered at by Dr. Krystle Zuniga Phd, RD.  (Click here for her bio)

For more information or to set up an appointment, contact Krystle Zuniga at: kezuniga@gmail.com.

Cancer Rehab Austin | Phone: 512-524-0964 | Fax: 512-524-0936 
email: angela@cancerrehabaustin.com| Website: www.cancerrehabaustin.com