(NECN/NBC News: Kim Dacey) - A new program at the University Of Maryland Medical Center is helping cancer patients cope with the discomfort of treatment using therapeutic music.
Jessica Montgomery is a leukemia patient.
"I think it’s helped me just making me at peace," Montgomery said.
Jessica, 29, was diagnosed with leukemia in August. While undergoing chemotherapy, she was an in-patient at the University Of Maryland Medical Center.
There, she met Terry Fevang, who played music in her room several times a week as part of the integrative care team.
"At a time where there's so much uncertainty and there's so much they cannot control in their lives you're bringing them a piece of humanity and beauty into the room they would otherwise not have because they're in a hospital," Fevang, a therapeutic musician, explained.
The live therapeutic music program is already done in other areas around the hospital, but through a grant from Gabrielle's angel foundation they started studying its effect on cancer patients four months ago.
"We’ve had substantial anecdotal evidence that the program has been effective, patients have loved it. And what we're going to do a rigorous scientific evaluation of physiological and psychological evaluation outcomes," stated Dr. Chris D’Adamo, who is in integrative medicine.
But Jessica and her father, who was by her side in the hospital, are already believers.
"She would start playing and in minutes and both of us would be asleep and didn't wake up until the music stopped it was so relaxing it took our minds both of our minds off of what was going on," said Wendell Travers, Jessica’s father.
Jessica hopes terry will play for her in another week or so when she's admitted to the hospital again for a stem cell transplant. She's nervous about the procedure and says it will help her escape, for a short time, the reality of treatment.
"I just kind of close my eyes and forget I’m in the hospital and just basically forget that I’m away from here. I feel like I’m back home and just living a regular life," Montgomery said.