By: Karen Thomas

In January of this year, 2014, I was officially diagnosed with invasive ductal breast cancer. Working as a Registered Nurse for more than 20 years, and now a Healing Touch Practitioner for animals and humans, the news came as quite an unexpected surprise. Not wanting to feel pushed onto a specific path, I immediately started researching my diagnosis and the various treatment options. Every cancer is unique and there is not one plan for treatment that fits the needs of all.

It only made sense to me to take a holistic approach to changing the environment in which the cancer was able to develop. My first priority was strengthening my immune system by focusing on a plant- based, organic diet while eliminating processed foods and toxins/chemicals commonly found in our environment to the best of my ability. I continued to exercise daily and make time for yoga and meditation practice on a regular basis. I also incorporated organic, therapeutic-grade essential oils in our everyday lives. Household products, supplements and skin care are a few examples of ways we use them.

I went to The Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Atlanta and loved its integrative, patient-centered approach to care. After meeting with my “team” of dedicated doctors and specialists, I decided that surgery was my best option. I had a bilateral mastectomy with reconstruction in April and the second phase of the surgery in July.

My certified Healing Touch Practitioner friend and colleague, Melinda Koscianski, played a paramount role in my quick recovery. She had given me several sessions of Healing Touch energy therapy in the weeks leading up to surgery, pre-op and immediately post-op in the recovery room. The staff was so impressed with the outcome of comfort level and speed of recovery with this nationally accredited modality.

With this anti-cancer lifestyle, the tremendous support of my partner, Daashia, and keeping a positive attitude, I feel better than ever. I was able to get back to running, biking and walking our dogs six weeks after the initial surgery.

I plan to continue my wonderful journey of Healing Touch for animals. These amazing beings have taught me that self-healing is a natural process and that anything is possible. Since I was a child, the dogs in my life have always reminded me to love unconditionally, stay in the present moment and find great joy in small things.

Karen can be found at Phoenix Rising Wellness Center in Marathon and on her websites: or

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