Kathryn Witt: Proud Breast Cancer Survivor

Darling, this blog was written by my girlfriend Kathryn Witt, a proud breast cancer survivor. Love, Fran


For ten months, I had been receiving acupuncture treatments from Dr. Siyi Zhang. Dr. Zhang was able to considerably curb the discomfort brought on by Borderline Spinal Canal Stenosis; still, I wanted it gone, never to return. I went, with MRI in hand, to an orthopedic surgeon at Cedars and was told that my condition was not advanced enough to warrant surgery. When I asked the surgeon what else I could possibly do, he suggested Tai-Chi. Now, here was a coincidence! I was already scheduled to start Tai-Chi lessons the following Monday with Master Daniel Y. Wang. I asked the Cedar’s doctor if he, himself, did Tai-Chi: he laughed and said that he was far too lazy.

I continued my acupuncture and began my Tai-Chi lessons in earnest. In a few months, I began to feel the muscles around my spine had strengthened and were now supporting my skeleton; effortlessly protecting it. I knew I had found a key to my mission.

THE I CHING or BOOK OF CHANGES warns us that when one finds themselves in the best of circumstances, one should become particularly alert…and, so it goes, now that I had found a constructive retreat from disc herniation and thought I was on the path to my old invincible self, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My mother had died of breast cancer.

After my lumpectomy, I started seven weeks of radiation. Since both chemotherapy and radiation can cause many imbalances, particularly affecting the kidneys, blood and spleen, I continued with my acupuncture. Dr. Zhang, knowing that the use of needles during radiation is a “no - no”, switched my acupuncture treatments from needle form to that of Moxibustion: instead of using needles, the heat from a lighted incense stick is used to penetrate the acupoints. She also started me on a white ginseng tea (she gets hers from Wisconsin in the good-old-USA), three small cups a day, not to be consumed after 3:30 p.m. because, while there’s no caffeine, it does stimulate you with a feeling of strength. In addition to ginseng’s antioxidant capacities, it is thought to be an “adaptogen”: a substance that helps the body adapt to age or disease by doing whatever is necessary to maintain the proper balancing of all systems (homeostasis).

Around week four of radiation, I received a box of books from The City of Hope. They covered topics such as definitive guides to cancer, how to prevent cancer and the fact that cancer can be reversed. These books are written by people that have M. D. after their names, people a lot smarter than me, and what I found was that I was on the right path -- you have to be the path finder, you can not passive. Just as Fran Drescher says: “Know the early warning signs…take control of your body…make informed choices”. Read, learn and apply. My favorite tip was something Hippocrates said: “Let food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”

By week seven, I was a more informed, healthier person; a smarter person who felt more alive then when the ugly package had arrived at my door. I am lucky that I had gifted people around me, people that had dedicated their lives to the art of healing and, for this, I am grateful.

The last thing I’d like to share with you is that I believe in the magic of mushrooms. The mushroom is magic. I first became aware of the magic of mushrooms back in the late sixties, but I’m not talking about that kind of transportation; now, the higher fungi have plenty of scientific backup to support the wonder of the medical traditions of the Orient (three different anticancer drugs have already been extracted from mushrooms and approved by the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry, the equivalent of the FDA). Maitake, Shiitake, Rieshi, so many Asian mushrooms for us to use as a cutting edge to the prevention of cancer.

I will leave you guys with a quote from Deepak Chopra: “You are the thinker behind the thought, the observer behind the observation, the flow of attention, the flow of awareness, the unbounded ocean of consciousness. When you have that on the experiential level, you spontaneously realize that you have choices, and that you can exercise these choices, not through some shear will power but spontaneously.”

Go be a quantum healer, a path finder and stay well.

Kathryn Witt
P. S. I am six years cancer free.