Sharing the light after cancer

cancer survivorOne of the best parts about working on the Cancer Center’s patient magazine, Thrive, is meeting patients who have made positive changes as a result of having been sick. For our fall issue, I interviewed Flora Migyanka, a breast cancer survivor.

Looking at Flora, you’d never suspect she’d been ill. As we all know, outward appearances can be misleading. Flora had a double mastectomy and still faces residual effects like swelling in her arm, pain and muscle wasting in her back. But as a wife and mother to young children, she has incentive to be well. Her family needs her and she needs them.

After surgery and recovery, Flora found herself worrying about recurrence, something all survivors face. Her doctor, Lisa Newman, M.D., advised her that increased stress leads to increased inflammation markers. Decreasing stress is one step survivors can take to stay well.

Flora turned to yoga, something she did before cancer, but something now she relies on and shares with others. Through breathing and positive energy, she keeps her stress levels under control. She now instructs yoga and finds it rewarding to share this “light” with others. Check out Flora’s full story in Thrive. There’s also a video highlighting her advocacy of breast cancer and desire to teach other survivors how the practice of yoga can be a key to wellness.

Take the next step:

  • Read Flora’s story in the fall issue of Thrive.
  • Find out more about how yoga benefited Flora is this blog post.

ThriveThrive magazine is a quarterly publication of the U-M Comprehensive Cancer Center, offering inspirational patient stories, news and information on programs and services, tips on coping and living with cancer and more. Find Thrive in the Cancer Center or online.



Cancer-center-informal-vertical-sig-150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.