New-found inner strength through LifeSpark

Before Amy Usalavage found out she had Stage 3 breast cancer, she’d never heard of Reiki or Healing Touch.  She had found a lump in her left breast but, like many breast cancer patients, procrastinated seeing a doctor for six weeks. When she was informed of her illness she had decisions to make. Amy decided that she would undergo chemo for 4 1/2 months to shrink her 6 cm tumor. She subsequently had a double mastectomy and radiation. She accepted all treatments. She was determined to live.

During Amy’s chemo a friend told her about LifeSpark Cancer Resources. Before that Amy had no idea that Reiki and Healing Touch are utilized in over 800 hospitals in the United States, and that there have been over 150 studies related to these modalities.

She found out that people using these techniques to supplement their other, more traditional treatments usually experienced one or more of the following outcomes:

  • Improvement in energy and well-being;
  • Decreased pain, anxiety, and depression;
  • Support for healing after surgery and medical procedures;
  • A feeling of being cared for and nurtured.

LifeSpark paired Amy with a Healing Touch provider named Barbara, who treated Amy throughout her chemo. Amy feels Barbara was her angel, describing her touch as “magical.” The treatment saw Amy through that difficult time. Healing Touch helped her not only during the one hour per week that she spent on Barbara’s table but, along with Barbara’s suggestions for self-care, alleviated symptoms like nausea and anxiety through the rest of the week. “Barbara didn’t just give me fish. She taught me HOW to fish. Her ideas gave me tools, like meditation, and how to say ‘no.’”

Amy found strength by internalizing Barbara’s self-care suggestions. It was over the holidays, as Amy was finishing up her chemotherapy, that her family descended on her home. So many things needed to get done! Barbara suggested that Amy needed time to heal. She wanted the optimum results from her chemo and that necessitated her getting some rest. “No one had ever given me permission to say, ‘no.’ I can say ‘no’ now!”

“All this is not what I thought I signed up for,” Amy recalled. It wasn’t Voodoo after all. She’s cancer-free now, but she still carries the gifts that she received from LifeSpark—yes, the healing, but also a new-found inner strength. “Cancer has changed my life, changed it for the better. This is the real deal now. I don’t have forever. Now is the time for joy.”