A tumor named “Dave”

Laura Curnow’s story
By Angela Jackson

Packing paper. Moving boxes. Getting the kids enrolled in a new school. Figuring out how to navigate your new job. There are many things to consider when moving your family across the country. And add to that trying to move from Michigan in the middle of winter.

But Laura Curnow did it all. She was about to start her new grant accounting job at Denver Health on Halloween 2012. She and husband Kevin had to get their family relocated.

Ghosts and goblins were the last thing Laura worried about during this particular Halloween. “I saw a lump right here waving at me,” Laura said. So, before travelling to Denver, she wanted to wrap up all her doctor appointments. During the final appointment, she thought, “I should have said something [about the lump to the doctor].” But she didn’t, and went on her way.

Anyone who has moved knows how hectic things are in the midst of a transition. Laura decided to wait until she arrived in her new city and things were more settled before getting a mammogram.

About four months went by before she saw a new physician. She told him not only about the lump, but also about an irregularity discovered a couple years earlier from a different mammogram. Her new doctor at University Health ran tests, did a biopsy. The results were confirmed. Laura had breast cancer.

“And the scary part about that, when you’re in a job under six months,” Laura said, “is that I didn’t qualify for FMLA (Family Medical Leave Act)—I didn’t qualify for short-term disability.”

Laura and Kevin had to make room for a new addition to their family. Now, alongside their son Jackson and daughter Avalon, they needed to accommodate this tumor they decided to call “Dave.”

“Dave” was responsible for Laura’s having a lumpectomy, undergoing radiation and chemotherapy, and being on cancer-treating drugs for three years.

Laura normally operated in a natural way with regard to her health. She ate healthy and had seen
both chiropractors and naturopathic doctors. Her natural doctors strongly suggested using traditional practices (radiation and chemotherapy) to treat cancer in conjunction with their more holistic methods.

A nurse practitioner at University Health introduced Laura to LifeSpark Cancer Resources and her life changed. Her Reiki sessions were scheduled to coordinate with her chemotherapy every three weeks. “I just felt so much better after I left. It definitely helped,” she said.

Once she got through all her chemotherapy treatments, her oncologist was amazed at the impact Reiki had on the whole healing process, and commented that she “had it way easy” as a result.

Laura commented, “I thoroughly believe that it had to do with having the Reiki, and also seeing the naturopath and putting those things together to help minimize the discomfort.”

Currently she has no evidence of disease. “I am beyond grateful to LifeSpark. How lucky I am to have been offered those services and given the opportunity to do that.”

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