by Sandra Cheney

In spring 2015, I received the shock of my life – a diagnosis of rectal cancer.  Everything after that day was a whirlwind.  Treatment consisted of eight weeks of radiation and two weeks of chemotherapy.  During that time, there were numerous side effects, such as loss of hair, head rash and mouth sores, but the most devastating was the internal pain from the radiation burn.  I was declared cancer-free on Sept. 11, 2015, but that was not the end of the pain.

For more than a year, I continued to struggle for a solution.  It seemed the only thing available was a variety of powerful prescription drugs, ranging from fentanyl to morphine to oxycodone.  None of these touched my pain, but instead left me in a constant stupor and eventually led to addiction.  As a result, any change in prescription or dosage elevated the pain, caused withdrawals and led to emergency room visits.

With the assistance of my doctor, I weaned off of all the drugs.  It took 10 months, but on Dec. 31, 2016, I took my final dose of pain medication. With my body still healing from the radiation, the pain was excruciating, as was the anguish my body endured as it freed itself from the final remnants of the drug.

The stress and depression were overwhelming.  I searched for something that would calm me physically, mentally, emotionally and bring me back to a full, functioning life. I prayed to God and all the angels in the universe to open a door and lead me to the light of healing.

That light came in February 2017 in the form of two earthly angels, who were friends of mine – Megan and Vickey.  They invited me to an open house called “Heart Healthy Yoga” with Amy McVickers, my next angel. I was guided to take a series of six classes that were restorative with focus on the heart as the center of love and positive energy. I realized that my healing had begun and felt so uplifted.

I applied for the second series of Amy’s classes, which included “chair yoga,” and during that class she introduced me to my MELT angel, Kathy. MELT is a self-treatment system that reduces chronic pain and helps one stay healthy, youthful and active for a lifetime. Kathy is the owner of the Co-Op Studio where I was taking classes with Amy.

I started taking yoga and MELT classes, and they proved to be the most significant gift in my healing process. I had been having gripping back pain and intermittent, extreme leg pain since I had stopped the pain medication months earlier.  After the MELT Treatments with Kathy, I went to an art fair and the back and leg pain took over my body, forcing me to go home and rest.  That night I had lots of pain and got very little sleep. This was nothing new.  It had happened before and I finally gave up and took some aspirin and fell asleep.  But, in the morning when I woke up, there was something new – I had no pain in my back or legs.

I continued to be pain free, and took more yoga and MELT classes. I have eliminated my back and leg pain and can feel my body healing internally, alleviating the pain from the radiation.  There are other results that are happening every day:  better balance, stronger and more flexible knees and a powerful grip.

It has now been six months since I started yoga and two months of doing MELT.  I am so filled with gratitude that my journey has taken me on a path laden with so many valuable gifts – happiness beyond my wildest expectations.  Thank you to Amy McVickers for her gentleness, her positive attitude, her heartfelt manner of teaching and her loving spirit. Thank you to Kathy DeFreitas for her guidance, her inspiration, her sparkling smile and her phenomenal ability to always know what a student needs at just the right  time. I am a MELTer for life and will advocate MELT to everyone I meet.

The Yoga Room Class Highlights

“Our Small Personalized Classes”

Chair Yoga with Amy — Chair yoga provides a safe manner for strengthening and supporting the body, while improving balance and stamina. Perfect for any age, those not comfortable getting down onto the floor, or with physical needs requiring use of a chair.  Amy McVickers, RYT500 call 602-670-1866

Gentle Myofascial Yoga classes with Kathy This offers a blend of gentle yoga stretches and movement using the MELT Method to hydrate dry connective tissue. Kathy DeFreitas, ERYT500 call 928-420-9437

Yin / Restorative with Lori — Soothing morning classes with longer (3-5 min) holds in postures to stretch and open the tissues of the body and cultivate the flow of fluid energy. Lori Durr, RYT500, LMT call 928-515-4595

Life Coaching — Pam’s coaching focuses on the mental and emotional transition into retirement. Pam Garland, MS,IC, call 520-247-3565

Workshops at The Yoga Room Prescott:

Yoga for a Healthy Heart Series — Yoga for a Healthy Heart is designed for individuals who have challenges with their cardiovascular system, a history of cancer or other illnesses. Contact Amy McVickers 602-670-1866 email Avmcvickers@gmail.com

Healing our Hearts — A gentle workshop designed to overcome stress caused by grief and heartache. Boost your immune system while quieting the mind, using restorative postures with sound and crystal healing bowls. Contact Kathy DeFreitas 928-420-9437 email TheGroveYogaRoom@gmail.com or facebook.com/Yoga.Room.Prescott