A gift of time, comfort, and healing energy

A gift of time, comfort, and healing energy

Donna Plute shares her journey with cancer and LifeSpark

By Bob Reynolds

Giving back some of what she’s received in life is part of Donna Seng Plute’s creed. Donna knows first-hand the trials of living with cancer. In 2011 she began a series of four chemo treatments following a double mastectomy for Stage II-B invasive lobular and ductal carcinoma. But she knew there were treatment options beyond the traditional invasive and toxic ones most cancer survivors are familiar with. “I’m very open to the healing arts,” Donna says. “I’ve had significant experiences with touch modalities. So I welcomed the opportunity to meet Angela, the lovely [LifeSpark] Provider, who met with me regularly—for little to no money.”

She was “astounded” by Reiki’s benefits. She recalled “the emotional, mental, and spiritual ‘even-ingout’ of my experience … I was thrilled that there was so much substance to it … Reiki and Healing Touch are very gentle, and my sessions were quite relaxing … I was given this gift of time, comfort, and healing energy when there was nothing I could have possibly needed more.”

While “mainstream” cancer treatments are life-giving, they can be hard on a person. Donna explains, “When someone pumps you full of chemicals that can take the hair off your body, you’re going through much more than you can possibly conceive of.” She remembers at one point experiencing “intestinal upheaval.” At the end of a session, her practitioner invited her to pay attention to her body, to focus on the outcomes she would experience in the coming week. Donna reported that she felt a “transition in my body, a dumping of waste and toxins.” She felt lighter and more comfortable and had more energy.

Donna’s practitioner would drive from Ft. Collins to Longmont week after week, just to see Donna for one hour. “She was so very generous,” Donna says gratefully. “These are the kind of people who tend to become practitioners; they’re really a beautiful breed apart.”

Describing what she feels in her sessions, Donna says, “I can’t tell you exactly what’s going on, because it’s a little bit like loving magic that happens. But I believe it happens on a cellular level—through power, energy, and love.” Along with other survivors, caregivers, and medical professionals, she attended a seven-week program, called “The Seven Levels of Healing.”Her oncology social worker-led this series, which included guided meditation and visualization, group sharing and support, internal reflection, and exploration.

Cancer patients deal with a lot of worry, fear, pain, discomfort, fatigue, nausea, and feeling drugged half the time. Donna says, “You’re at a place where you wonder if you even have a future on the planet, worrying about those you love, and the destruction of everything you’ve ever known. Reiki helped me move away from the fear, the worry, and the pain, and move to ‘It’s gonna be OK. You can be comforted, you can heal.’”

Donna’s primary care physician is very open to treatment methods outside of mainstream medicine. And it was her oncologist who encouraged her to contact LifeSpark, and who set her up with a Reiki specialist. Donna believes that a person should experience a variety of modalities in order to get the best outcomes and the easiest journey through any medical condition. “If people don’t at least try new, comforting, non-invasive care options,” Donna says, “they’re limiting themselves to maybe a more difficult, arduous journey than they might otherwise have.”

“I’ve used Body Talk, and myofascial release—a big one for me because I have a metal rod and 12 fused vertebrae since I was a teenager (from scoliosis). So alternative treatments are huge for me. Traditional treatment for my back pain has always been anti-inflammatory medication, which does help and is needed at times. But I’ve found I can limit the number of pills I take by spending an hour on a good practitioner’s table. So I really encourage other people to seek this type of care, to give it a try. It’s not invasive, it doesn’t hurt, and it’s just a time to relax and let your body have the opportunity to consider what it’s doing to you at the moment, or how it’s going to move forward. Certainly, on the cellular level, there’s more going on than I understand.”

Donna’s advice to anyone newly diagnosed with cancer is, “Just do it. Take advantage of Reiki just for that hour of caring and breathing and relaxing, and not being treated in a traditional medical mode, which is so harsh on your body and your spirit.”

“Thank you, LifeSpark, thank you, volunteers!” Donna continued. “Giving back is so important, and I think it’s what being on the planet is all about. For people to reach into the lives of others at difficult times. For them to just knock on your door and say, ‘Let me come in, let me help, let me show you another way.’ I think it’s a beautiful thing. Just keep giving!”

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