LifeSpark helps Candy feel better after cancer

By Bob Reynolds

You would never know from Candace Burch’s cheerful voice and carefree tone that she’s lived with multiple myeloma for the last two years.  She seems to have made lemonade out of that lemon.  As a result of her diagnosis, she had to leave a job in human resources that she loved.  Even though, at age 62, she wasn’t ready to retire, Candy maintains that “it was meant to be.”

Candy didn’t know anything about energy healing at that point.  She had a friend who was involved with touch therapy, and her curiosity was piqued.  A year after her initial diagnosis she googled “cancer and healing touch” to see what might come up.  “I was delighted to find LifeSpark that way.  They were very responsive,” Candy says.  “They called me back right away.  It was a wonderful gift to discover an organization that’s dedicated to making people feel better.”

Candy’s multiple myeloma, a fairly rare blood cancer, will require treatment for the rest of her life.  For many people the disease causes quite a bit of bone damage;  by the time Candy was diagnosed she had suffered considerable bone damage herself.  “In Jan. of ’12 I was pretty sick,” she recalls.  “I was in the hospital, with kidney failure, anemia, a lot of fractures in my back, pain in my leg.”

“My cancer really came on with a vengeance.  The first four or five months were pretty tough.  It was hard to believe I got sick so quickly.  I had been working, traveling, and then just a few weeks later I was in so much pain I’d go crazy if you touched any part of my body.  One day you’re fine, and the next you’re in a wheelchair … I lay in the hospital bed, wondering if this was it.”

Somehow her body and her spirit rallied.  A year and a half later, the good news is that she can function.  Due to radiation and surgery she is mobile again.  Despite some improvement, there are still a number of challenges in managing the disease.  Because she will need to receive chemo treatments for the rest of her life, she began to seek additional, alternative therapies.  She credits Healing Touch with playing a part in her return to (relative) normalcy.

When Candy first started receiving Healing Touch treatments, she didn’t have any idea what to expect.  Candy was told when she first started being treated that each session might feel very different.  During sessions she began to feel more meditative, as though she were at the beach, in the mountains, or flying.  She describes her sessions as “incredibly nurturing.  I’ve experienced everything from getting relief from pain to feeling more comforted and energetic.  But at the very least you can expect to let go of your everyday stress and concerns.”

For her, Healing Touch has become “so much more than just lying on a table and feeling relaxed.”  Candy has developed inner resources that have helped her to cope.  By having to confront serious illness she discovered that she has, for lack of a better term, a spiritual life.  “You feel like a part of universal energy.  I’m accepting more and more that we’re made of this energy.  What happens when you’re no longer on the earth?  It’s helped me feel calmer and more accepting of death.”

Her Healing Touch practitioner has become a vital part of her wellness journey.   “Deb has a calming, wise persona,” Candy says.  After discovering Healing Touch and LifeSpark, Candy asked if she could take some LifeSpark brochures to her oncologist’s office, hoping that other patients might be interested in contacting LifeSpark.  She believes that medical professionals are coming around to accepting touch therapies.

“LifeSpark does research on the benefits of touch therapies, and I respect that,” Candy says.  “I like being involved in a medical study, contributing to the research.”  Because of her interest and curiosity, she has learned some good techniques for handling her psychological health, and hopes to learn more.

After she had been receiving treatment for some time, Candy was invited to attend a LifeSpark “Day of Gratitude.”  She was pleased to be able to thank some of the volunteers who give their time in helping people with cancer.  “It’s hard to understand just how valuable LifeSpark is if you’re not a patient yourself.  This is an organization whose goal is to make people with nausea, or who can’t sleep, feel better.  That’s huge!  I’m a big supporter of everything LifeSpark does.”

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