Cancer Recovery Alternative Therapies Wayzata MN
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Paths to Recovery
By Elizabeth Wray
These are the stories of three women, all of whom lived most of their lives solidly entrenched in the world of conventional medicine. Two are physicians; one is a clinical social worker. When they were diagnosed with cancer, each had access to top-notch medical care and was well equipped to sort through the complicated array of options for treatment. The women did make use of—and were grateful for—the therapies that mainstream medicine had to offer. But the treatments were harsh, and their doctors could do little to help them weather the debilitating side effects.
Ultimately, all three women found the keys to their complete recovery in alternative therapies such as reiki, meditation, massage, prayer, yoga, aromatherapy, and acupuncture, among others. For all three, these methods became not only a means of getting through cancer treatment, but the beginning of an entirely new outlook on life.
Betsy MacGregor, M.D..
Diagnosis: breast cancer
Conventional therapies: chemotherapy, bilateral mastectomy
Alternative therapies: acupuncture, energy work, medical marijuana, massage, aromatherapy, meditation, bodywork
One night four years ago, 13-year-old Kendra MacGregor Terry woke up in a cold sweat, ran into her parents’ bedroom, and awakened her mother. “I dreamed you walked into my room and stood there looking at me, and I knew that you had breast cancer,” she said. Kendra’s mother, Betsy, reassured her daughter she was fine. She’d gone for a checkup only a month earlier, and neither her breast exam nor her mammogram had turned up anything unusual.
But then, a few weeks later, Betsy’s husband found a lump in her breast. Shortly afterward, her doctor gave her the chilling news that she did indeed have breast cancer.
A mastectomy soon followed. Several biopsies were done on her remaining breast and the results all came back normal. Yet she continued to have misgivings, as did her daughter, who felt strongly that Betsy should have her second breast removed. Ultimately, she did—Kendra had been right before, after all—and found out that her second breast, too, was riddled with early-stage cancer. “From the start, I felt I was in the grip of something beyond normal understanding,” she says, “that deeper awareness that two human beings close to one another can have.”
Trusting such intuition and stepping outside of standard medical practice were not foreign to MacGregor. She’d walked her own path since medical school, though she never could have predicted just how far from mainstream medicine she would go.
Back when she was a third-year medical student, she took a year’s leave to care for a close friend who had leukemia, and saw him all the way up to the threshold of death. As a result, she says, “I saw death differently from my medical colleagues; it wasn’t the enemy but rather part of a continuity.”
In her practice as a pediatrician, MacGregor also used mind-body techniques. Then in 1998, she began a research projec...
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