How Faith, Family, and LifeSpark Supported Lisa Through Breast Cancer

By Maureen Geittmann

It was January 2021.  Lisa and her husband had just moved into a new house, and she was one month into a new job. That is when it happened.  She found a lump in her right breast.

“It could be nothing,” she thought as she made preparations for a mammogram and ultrasound.  But during the visit, the ultrasound showed three lumps, not one, and the look on the doctor’s face as he spoke with her said everything. Even though it would be weeks before she would get the official results, she just knew. She had breast cancer.

It was a huge shock. “What do I think? What do I feel? What do I do?“ How would she cope with this? 

A mastectomy was scheduled for April, and prior to surgery, she received a packet from UC Health with a LifeSpark flyer inside. Lisa would not have turned to Reiki for her anxiety and pain management if she had not seen the flyer. But the extra support offered by LifeSpark to help cope with the effects of her cancer and cancer treatment appealed to her. She signed up and had her first LifeSpark session before surgery.

The surgery was successful, and tests indicated that there was now no evidence of cancer. Lisa was given an 82% chance of the cancer not coming back. However, if she opted to also do chemotherapy as a preventative measure, her odds increased to 91%.  Lisa needed to make a decision. “I have always been an A student,” she said, and after much prayer, she decided to go forward with chemo.

Her Christian faith has been an important part of her journey. Chemo is known for making it more difficult to think clearly, and there were many times when her mind was just too fuzzy to be able to pray.  She received LifeSpark sessions after each chemo treatment, and it was a lifeline for her.  She could just lie there during the session and be with God. “I didn’t have to do anything, it took no effort, and it was so supportive.” 

She had a lot of pain from the surgery, and LifeSpark sessions helped with this.  During one session, she became aware that she could “direct my pain away from myself and send my pain into the ground at the foot of the cross.”  This was a very powerful image for her, and Lisa has continued to use it.  “The sessions helped calm me when I experienced the chemo cloud, and I learned there were things I could do to direct my energy and heal.”

Lisa relied on her faith and relationship with Jesus every step of the way.  Going into surgery, she saw herself being carried by him as a lamb in his arms. “I could just sit in his arms as a small lamb. It was the most comforting image possible for me.” 

Family was also very important during this time.  She had to face the emotional aspects of losing a breast. “It changes your self-image. A part of you is gone. This is where I nursed my babies. It is part of my femininity, my self-image.”  Her husband was a wonderful support. Each day he would look her in the eyes and say, “You are beautiful.” Hearing that every day reassured her and strengthened her soul, and it meant the world to her.   

For Lisa, LifeSpark gave her a “time out” for her recovery. LifeSpark sessions resonated with her spiritual and physical healing, and she felt “carried and supported” by them. Her LifeSpark Provider was key for her as a “listening ear” and someone who had walked with others through their breast cancer treatment, as well as providing the LifeSpark guided meditations. The sessions were a personal and life-changing time for emotional processing and healing. “It was a time for relaxation, a time just for me. Something positive for healing.  Although LifeSpark has no relationship with any religion, for me, it supported my faith.”

It has been over a year since she completed treatment, although she will be on Tamoxifen for several more years.  Every year over Thanksgiving her family gathers, and they report on what they are grateful for. This year Lisa reported that she was “grateful to feel normal again”.  She is also very thankful for her family, her faith, and the gifted LifeSpark Provider who gave her Reiki.



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