OHC Breast Cancer Patient Credits Hobby Farm, Gardening, Outdoor Lifestyle as Healing Medicine
Lisa Feiler was a healthy 47-year old marketing assistant and biking enthusiast who exercised regularly, ate healthy, and stayed fit. She wasn’t someone who fit the typical profile of someone with breast cancer. Then, a few days before she was set to take off on a week-long bike tour, she discovered a lump on her breast during a self-examination. That’s when her life and her overall perspective changed forever.
Upon discovering the lump, Lisa saw her primary care physician who immediately referred her to Dr. Donna Stahl, who specialized in breast surgery at Mercy Health. Dr. Stahl identified seven tumors and performed a bilateral mastectomy in September 2011. During the surgery, it was discovered that the breast cancer had spread to her lymph nodes and breast wall. Dr. Stahl then referred Lisa to Dr. Karyn M. Dyehouse, a medical oncologist at OHC specializing in breast cancer, where she received six months of chemotherapy followed by six weeks of radiation.
Just before Lisa started breast cancer treatment, she and her husband had purchased land in Waynesville, Ohio, which they planned to turn into a hobby farm upon their retirement. But, given Lisa’s cancer diagnosis, they decided to embrace the moment and not wait to build their dream until retirement. While Lisa was recovering from the chemotherapy and radiation, her husband would travel to the property regularly to clear the land and begin to get the home ready so they could move there full time.
“I think having the property and knowing that we were going to be there full time not only helped me stay positive while I was going through breast cancer treatment, it also gave my husband a way to help me when he was feeling helpless like so many people do when their spouses go through cancer treatment,” said Lisa.
The Feiler’s hobby farm has a 1800’s schoolhouse that they converted into a home, which sits on 15 acres of land. They have a garden where they grow fresh, organic vegetables and herbs, which offers them healthy eating choices and helps reduce cancer risks. They’ve raised bees, chickens, as well as sheep. Lisa has also worked to make 13 of the acres a certified forest where she works to eradicate honeysuckle and grapevines from invasive species to keep the forest healthy.
“I love spending time outdoors either working on the farm and in the forest, riding my bike, or listening to music and meditating,” said Lisa. “This lifestyle is a stress reliever for me and I believe it has been one of the major contributors to my recovery and in preventing a recurrence of breast cancer.”
At the end of April 2017, Lisa will celebrate 5 years of being cancer free. She credits this to the great care and treatment she received at OHC as well as to the steps she has taken to live a healthy lifestyle on her farm.
To learn more about reducing your risk of cancer or OHC’s cancer treatments, please browse our website and download our patient newsletters. Or call us toll-free at 1-844-424-6673.