From Cancer to Remission: From Illness to Wellness — Diana’s Journey
by Dr. Mao Shing Ni and Frances Lam, L.Ac.
This is a story of a woman who was diagnosed with breast cancer at the age of 35 and whose health was drastically declining when she came to the Tao of Wellness at the recommendation of a friend. Diana arrived at our health center in June 2018 with debilitating arthritis, neuropathy, hypothyroidism, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, a uterine fibroma and bipolar disorder.
Diana’s story is one of empowerment, perseverance and gratitude. Because of the successes she experienced while working with us, she wanted to share her story in the hope that she could educate, inspire, and encourage us that it is possible to change the state of our health, and that some of that power lies within our own hands.
The Dreaded Diagnosis:
In 1992, Diana felt a lump on her breast which was later diagnosed as stage 2 breast cancer. At her age, and with no family history of breast cancer, doctors were stunned. She underwent a lumpectomy and lymph node removal followed by six months of chemotherapy and six weeks of radiation. Diana experienced many side effects from chemo and radiation including fatigue, nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, cognitive decline and premature menopause. According to Diana, “I had to rely on my strong spiritual belief in Buddhism to get through this rough period of my life.”
As an Asian, Diana should have had a statistically lower risk of breast cancer than her Caucasian counterparts. We at Tao of Wellness were intrigued, and wondered what may have triggered her cancer and there was one obvious factor—Diana’s weight. About 10 years prior to her cancer diagnosis she began gaining, and ultimately weighed 30 pounds more than her petite, small frame should carry. In addition, Diana was under a great deal of stress in her personal life, and had a diet that was high in animal products, fats, processed foods and sugar, all of which can increase the risk of cancer.
According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), “There is consistent evidence that higher amounts of body fat are associated with increased risks in of a number of cancers.” Endometrial, esophageal adenocarcinoma, gastric, liver, kidney, multiple myeloma, meningioma, pancreatic, colorectal, gallbladder, breast, ovarian and thyroid are some of the cancers that may be triggered by obesity.” The NCI also states, “Obese people often have chronic low-level inflammation which can, over time, cause DNA damage that leads to cancer.”
Body Fell Apart After Cancer:
In the years following her diagnosis, Diana developed tubular adenomas, hypothyroidism, tremors, and skin rashes, diabetes and a blocked bile duct. She also experienced three separate episodes of appendicitis. When we began treating Diana at Tao of Wellness, she was on 12 medications and needed to cane.
Cleansing and Detoxification:
After her initial consultation I put Diana on our proprietary cleansing/detox program that includes specific foods, vegetable juices, an herbal formula, skin brushing, cupping, lymphatic tuina bodywork and infrared sauna. As she worked with her team of doctors that included Angela Soeon Park, L.Ac. and Frances Lam, L.Ac., Diana experienced a shocking improvement in her health.
Diana managed to lose a substantial amount of weight and logged improvement in all of her conditions; her blood sugar and blood pressure normalized, her thyroid function improved, her pain was reduced and she no longer needed to use a cane. When she reflected on her journey, Diana remarked, “Originally, I came to Tao of Wellness because of the arthritis in my knee, but many of my other ailments have been treated and I no longer suffer from these conditions. I am especially pleased that I have lost over 30 pounds which thrills me because all my adult life I have been unsuccessful in losing weight.”
Diana was able to stop taking 11 out of the 12 medications she was taking prior to coming to Tao of Wellness, and now she needs only one. Not only did the program help her reverse many of her illnesses it also reduced the risk that her cancer could recur. In addition, Diana has joined the YMCA and has developed an exercise program that includes weights, biking, swimming and walking her dog. Diana says, “Create challenges for yourself, triumph, and feel happy about it.”
Diana made these decisions with the support of her team at Tao of Wellness. She leaned on her Buddhist faith to cultivate happiness and appreciation that are the seeds of gratitude for the simple and small things in life. She says, “I’m very happy and thankful that I’ve been able to come to the Tao of Wellness—at 65 people tell me that I look like I’m in my 40s.”
Diana is off of her bipolar medication and her mood is stable. “I’m laughing,” said Diana, “People need to know that acupuncture can help with so many condi-tions, including mood disorders. I’m also happy that my 95-year-old mom is also being treated at Tao of Wellness for all her health concerns and that she is getting better.”
We have been impressed with Diana’s open mind, determination and persever-ance on her journey from illness to wellness. Wellness is a state of mind and health that needs to be nurtured and maintained. We are certain that Diana’s new-found joy and better health will help her sustain wellness for the rest of her life; we were very happy to be a part of her journey toward health and happiness.