Breast Cancer Awareness Month: How Breast Cancer Has Impacted These Women’s Lives

By Karen Robinson

Heal Thrive Dream 

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. While breast cancer rates are on the decline, it is still the most common cancer among women in the United States. Early detection is key to successful treatment, so it’s important for women of all ages to be familiar with the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

 Karen Sammer

After overcoming her own health challenges, Karen Sammer became a certified health coach and a WomenHeart Champion Community Educator. She works with people who are struggling with weight management,

sugar addiction, lack of energy, stress and those who want to adopt a healthier lifestyle but don’t know where to start. www.yourpoweryourhealth.com

Karen’s Story

Did you ever feel like you‘re barely keeping your head above water and no matter how hard you try, you keep falling farther behind? That was me in 2009 just before I found out I had breast cancer.

Cancer will stop you in your tracks. It made me evaluate my life like never before. I had to get off the hamster wheel.

I knew if I wanted to overcome this illness and reduce my risk of recurrence, I had to do something radical. So, I did.

I took control of my health. I lost 135 pounds. I stopped eating food I knew was unhealthy and I practiced self-care like it was my job…because it was.

I had to use the new knowledge I gained so I trained to be a health coach. I now get to help people who have conditions or are at risk for developing conditions we can manage through lifestyle and nutrition changes.

I feel better than I did 30 years ago, and I get to help my clients do the same. And even better…I think I’ve reduced my risk of recurrence with the choices I made and continue to make every day.

 Connie Ragen Green

is a bestselling author, entrepreneur, and online marketing strategist. She works with newer entrepreneurs on six continents to help them create a business around a lifestyle they love and deserve. Connect with Connie at https://ConnieRagenGreen.com.

Connie’s Story
The Letter That Had to Be Written... October 8th, 2001

Dear Dr. Weingrad,

I’m not sure if you remember me, but you were my oncologist in October of 1992. Thank you for saving my life. I wasn’t very nice to you at that time because I was angry about the cancer. I apologize and hope you will forgive me.

I want to tell you what I've done with my life since then and to express my gratitude for being alive. I understand now that my life has great value and is a gift not to be squandered. I thank God every day for each breath I take. I’m devoting my life to service to others in a variety of ways.

I went back to my job as a classroom teacher. I’m also a Big Sister to a girl with special needs and last year I was a foster parent to a boy who had been abused. I’ve become an advocate for men and women who are in a situation I know all too well with a diagnosis of cancer. I believe my words have great meaning to them and give them the courage to navigate their journey.

While watching television after the 9/11 attacks a few weeks ago your face came into my mind. With everything that has happened and our futures feeling so uncertain, I wanted to make sure you knew how grateful I am to you, now and forever.

In Gratitude,

Connie Ragen Green

Courtney Ma'at

Has been married to her husband for 20 years and they have a 12 year old son. Courtney worked as a clinical therapist in a variety of settings and enjoys helping others of all ages, races, genders, and backgrounds achieve their desired mental health goals. 

Courtney’s Story

At 35 after finding a lump in my breast I was diagnosed with cancer.  My sister was simultaneously diagnosed with her second breast cancer.  Due to my father passing away in 2007 from cancer, we completed genetic testing.  We discovered we had a rare genetic syndrome called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome or LFS. This mutation causes, higher risk of developing cancer over our lifetimes. 

I underwent a double mastectomy followed by chemotherapy.  I then lived in Houston to complete 6 weeks of radiation at MD Anderson. Unfortunately, my sister passed away in 2017 after fighting multiple cancers and months in and out of the hospital. 

Every six months, I head to MD Anderson in Houston to have an MRI. Last January after a routine full body MRI, my medical team informed me of a mass found on my rib cage, so I prepared for thoracic surgery in April 2017.  I am excited to say that I did not have another cancer and needed a new implant instead.  Medically I was fine, but it has taken me months to decrease my hyper vigilance and decrease my anxiety.  I practice yoga, mindfulness, and make sure I always am plugged in with a therapist. 

Dr. Amba Tobin

is a mother, grandmother, wife, healing artist, speaker, and author.
She is originally from Des Moines Iowa, traveled in Europe as a professional jazz singer for 9 years. And currently lives in California and Wisconsin when NOT traveling for Speaking engagements or hosting 3 day retreats.

Dr. Amba holds a Doctorate in Medical Qigong Therapy (pronounced Chee-Gong.) To learn more about Dr. Amba and the services she offers: www.sitwellness.com

Pulling the Roots of Cancer by Dr. Amba Tobin

I often ask my clients to read two books. "The Path of Least Resistance" by Robert Fritz and "You Can Heal Your Life" by Louise Hay. Because from 2009 to present time 2022, I found after the first few years of research with Medical Qigong and Breast Cancer, it saved me a lot of time. These books help clients to have a different perspective on life and wellness. Especially if they are not exposed to any alternative or holistic modalities and or spiritual or personal development. These books prep clients before or as we are starting to work together.
Many women do not see the connection with our emotions and our spiritual life, as connected to our physical cells. Reading those books and starting to play with the idea that our thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our community or lack of, our alignment with our highest good can create or change our biggest health challenges.
The research that I have compiled over 12 years came to one big conclusion. The book I am releasing in 2023 will give most of the details. For now, let me give you the big take away.
Not Practicing Forgiveness. Not ABLE to have or Not Keeping Boundaries. Stuffing Emotions. These are the roots of Cancer. Western medicine often removes the surface weed but does not always pull the roots.
In Medical Qigong, there are more than the physical aspects of cancer. There are the emotional and spiritual contributors to cancer. All which leads to lack of SELF-LOVE. Self-Love is a practice it’s not perfection. My practice is to help women remove the roots and begin the conscious practice of Self-Love.

In Traditional Chinese Medical Qigong Therapy, which is the oldest modality of TCM, we say that each of the 5 Solid Organs have acquired emotions and innate virtues.

Liver relates to anger, frustration, impatience. We are born with compassion, kindness, and patience in the liver.  In our modality the liver also relates to our connection and alignment with our highest path or higher power.  Boundaries and being able to keep them or not also has to do with the liver and its paired hollow organ the gall bladder.

Why is this important? Gall Bladder relates to decisions and making choices. Some women do not have a choice. Most of the women who have breast cancer in my studies had serious boundaries crossed that they were not able to keep. Mostly as children or even as adults, they were in a situation where they were shocked something was happening and did not have the where with all or the ability to lift their hands up and block something or someone and yell, “NO! THAT IS NOT OKAY!”

One client I mention in my book retold her story from her childhood. She was separated from her parents during the Nazi occupation and was taken to a different concentration camp. The fact that they all survived was a blessing. Yet the boundaries were crossed, and trauma lasted her lifetime.

Many of the clients I researched, had witnessed or experienced some sort of abuse as a child. Where they felt helpless, had feelings of shame, blame, or guilt. Often a sense of abandonment, resentment or betrayal.

Often, they had stuffed the experience so deep that they either never thought of it or even did not remember it. With many they never processed the pain but in a few series of western therapy sessions. Or for those who fully blocked the story from their memory, only after some sessions with Medical Qigong Therapy did, they start to remember bits and pieces until they fully remembered what happened. In my work, if I see it, I can never bring it up until they tell me. When they were ready and able to start the healing journey, we took the next steps of the protocols.

One client refused to do the Forgiveness part of our protocol. She was strong in her conviction that she would never forgive her mother or the people who had abused her. I told her that it was for her and not for them. Yet she still refused to even look at the forgiveness “ritual.” It is a sacred practice in my work, and it is a ritual. Sometimes my work is to help my clients as an end-of-life support. In this case, she was the only one who I could not help being cancer free and her life ended in less than a year of working with me. She was one of the clients who worked with western medicine.

Honoring our emotions and feeling them, then releasing them from the physical tissues is also a huge key to cancer recovery. In Medical Qigong Therapies we have many tools for this, and healing sounds is a huge part. The descending pitch of SHONG on a big exhale with specific intention, attention, imagination and sensation is part of the prescription exercises and meditations we give to clients

With the Liver and how it relates to breast cancer in Traditional Chinese Medical Qigong, we look at those boundaries I mentioned before. At any age, women may have not been able to stop a boundary from being crossed. This is where the liver starts to create insubstantial phlegm. This is different than physical phlegm. This is where the cancer begins from hot from toxic heat of the boundaries being crossed and no healthy expression of possible sadness, shame, guilt, frustration, fear, loneliness, worry, overthinking, anxiety, expectations not met, anger, and no ability to practice self-love.

This toxic heat is cancer when it bakes the insubstantial phlegm into a hard tumor. Surgery, chemo, radiation, and any western treatment may only remove what is physically seen. The roots are what require pulling for full healing. In my experience and the studies, I have done, it is from the emotional and spiritual work that the roots can be pulled.

A Reflective Summary

by Trauma Recovery Expert Karen Robinson

I hope you have enjoyed and feel encouraged by my guest bloggers on their perspectives or experiences with breast cancer awareness. I love the diverse stories and the different paths to healing.Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a time to reflect on the progress that has been made in the fight against breast cancer and to remember those who have lost their lives to the disease. It is also a time to celebrate the survivors and to continue to raise awareness about the importance of early detection and treatment.

I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to two special women to me. One is my friend Jan. She is a survivor and a dear friend. We worked together as emergency therapists for a few years and during that time, I became a privileged witness of her recovery story. She is a badass woman I deeply respect and admire. Another dear woman is my mother-in-law Dollie(Tribute to Dollie Caruthers). She extended her life by many years through her faith, changing her food and lifestyle, trying both Western and Eastern medical practices, and because of the love she held for her children and grandchildren. She blessed my life and many ways.

Breast cancer doesn’t discriminate, and we need a community for recovery and deep healing. How can you take action in blessing women impacted now and to prevent women from future impact? Donate to your choice of breast cancer foundations for further research and treatment options.

Another way to make a difference is to gift a scholarship to a friend or family member in one of Dr. Amba’s program. Please contact her directly for this opportunity. https://www.sitwellness.com

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Karen Robinson

  Karen Robinson  

About the Author

I'm licensed therapist with 25 years of clinical experience. Service driven, specializing in trauma recovery, anxiety, and depression, holistic care, and transformation to create an impact for trauma survivors globally. Services include coaching, therapy, virtual courses, digital products, and on-line memberships.

Are you a survivor in need of HOPE?