“Cancer touched my boob, so I kicked its ass!”

The Kathy Trujillo Story

By Angela Jackson

Kathy Trujillo had just been promoted at her job at an insurance company. As a single mom of an 18-year-old girl, she stayed active to keep pace with her daughter’s life.

Then a routine mammogram revealed something that would change her life. A nurse case manager called with the results of a biopsy. The diagnosis was cancer. However, it was stage one, and the tumor was small. Treatment would include radiation and a lumpectomy. That would take care of it. “No big deal,” Trujillo thought.

“I was a little scared because my grandmother and aunt both died of breast cancer. But it sounded like mine was caught soon enough,” she said.

A further ultrasound showed things were a little different than they first thought. At a meeting with her oncologist, surgeon and radiologist, the news changed. The growth was bigger. The team said the other “C” word: chemotherapy. “That’s when I started freaking out,” Trujillo recalled.

The diagnosis was in March 2016. Trujillo, whose husband died in 2005, is the sole provider for her daughter. “Dying was not an option,” she said.

Daughter Selena remarked, “It’s been hard, but you just got to have faith that it’s going to be alright.”

Trujillo had tried acupuncture and was familiar with alternative healthcare methods beyond traditional Western medicine. So she made the decision to travel down the holistic road to fight her cancer. She became a “health fanatic.” She stopped smoking, and started exercising and eating organic foods.

A friend asked if she had ever thought about Reiki. After a quick Google search for Reiki practices in her area, Trujillo found LifeSpark Cancer Resources, an organization that provides holistic care to cancer patients, while supporting oncology departments as they incorporate whole-person care into standard medical treatment. To her delight, her oncologist supported the program too.

She is still in the midst of chemo treatments. Since receiving sessions of Reiki, she has noticed a big difference in how she feels physically. She remarked, “After the first session, because I was just so stressed and so wound up, and everything was just so overwhelming, I went home and felt so relaxed and slept so well.”

She hasn’t had any nausea during the last 12 of her 16 rounds of chemotherapy. She has been through two lumpectomies and, as a result of Reiki, the pain subsided after only a short time. “It helped my body to heal,” she said.

She has healed to a point of reengaging in the activities she loves so much. She walked a 5K race in the middle of January, started doing yoga and recently tried a Zumba class with her daughter.

“What have you got to lose?” Trujillo asks those who may wonder about the benefits of Reiki or other energy work. In fact, Reiki has benefitted her so much that she hopes to a take Reiki classes and become a volunteer practitioner for LifeSpark in the future. “I’m so grateful to the program that any way I can help out, I’m more than willing.”

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