No One Wants to Hear the ‘C’ Word

No one wants to hear the ‘c’ word. But, that’s what my mom heard last January. More specifically … non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.


Fortunately, her doctor said we caught it early and it was highly treatable.

I had recently interviewed a graduate of Dr. Andrew Weil’s Program of Integrative Medicine, Roberta Lee, M.D., for my Healthy with Hart program on and asked her advice for my mom during her chemotherapy.

She recommended the following:

  • Focused Breathing – releases tension and anxiety
  • Visualization – a sunrise or sunset, visualize your body healed, and/or something beautiful, such as wildflowers
  • Daily Affirmations – increases feelings of personal power
  • Family and Friends – to provide support
  • Whey protein shakes – an excellent way to get much needed protein
  • Acupuncture – stimulates the release of endorphins
  • Reiki – working the unseen ‘life force energy’ flowing through us

We are fortunate to have many excellent practitioners in the northern suburbs that provide acupuncture and reiki along with the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Care in Evanston, so our family thought it was in mom’s best interest to leave her small town in Arizona for treatment here.

During her first acupuncture session with Jin-Hong Ngan of Jin & Tonic Wellness Co. in Evanston, mom asked if she was supposed to be “tingling,” because she never felt that during her treatment in Arizona. Jin believes, “no tingle, no pay!” It’s crucial that you find a reputable acupuncturist.

For reiki, there are two miracle-workers: Billie Topa Tate of MSI Healing in Evanston and Marlene Baczek at Vitality Spa in Buffalo Grove. As much as it has been explained to me, I STILL can’t figure out how reiki works, but I know how incredible it makes me feel!

Another person I asked for some advice was David Grotto, RD., author of “101 Optimal Life Foods.”

“It is critically important for those who have been diagnosed with cancer to eat well,” he says. “I suggest plenty of whole grains, fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, healthy fats, lean proteins and low fat dairy products (or replacers) be included in the diet to make the body stronger through therapy to survive it, thrive through it and reduce the risk of recurrence.”

My hope is that we all become proactive in keeping ourselves healthy before disease strikes which is why I started my website,

Mom is now in complete remission and back in Arizona in search of an acupuncturist that makes her tingle.

Make It Better resources:

Acupuncture and Massage
Glenbrook Hospital
Northshore University Healthsystem
Integrative Medicine – Park Center

Kellogg Cancer Care Center
Evanston Hospital

Kellogg Cancer Care Center
Highland Park Hospital

Yoga, Meditation, Massage, Reflexology, T’ai Chi, Art and Writing Therapy
Cancer Wellness Center

Acupuncture, Massage, Reiki (plus a lot of other obscure healing techniques)
Northshore Healing Center LLC

A Center for Oriental Medicine

Therapeutic Kneads
Highland Park

Acupuncture, Massage, Nutrition (more obscure techniques also)
Center For Holistic Medicine

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