Sole + Luna co-founder Amy Bradley was diagnosed with stage IIB breast cancer in 2016. She was 36 years old with four children under the age of 10, and like most young people, cancer was not on her radar. However, because her mother was diagnosed with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS) at 65, Bradley thought it would be a good idea for her doctor to order a baseline mammogram for the coming year.
“I never even made it that far,” says Bradley. “A few months after my doctor visit, I noticed a distinct size and shape difference between my two breasts which started me on the path to diagnosis.”
Bradley was diagnosed with stage IIB invasive ductal carcinoma with two positive lymph nodes. She began six rounds of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, followed by surgery, radiation, four additional rounds of adjuvant chemo and a complete hysterectomy.
As Bradley researched both traditional and non-traditional healing methods during treatment, she discovered many wellness techniques that cancer warriors incorporated into their treatment plans that helped them long term.
“I don’t believe this is a ‘one size fits all’ concept, but I started to learn about mindfulness, engaging the parasympathetic and looking at the role of food as medicine,” explains Bradley.
She especially wanted to explore the concept of energy healing and body-spirit connection. “I was introduced to reiki, acupuncture and other forms of eastern healing and believe that the integration of eastern with western helped build up my strength and made my body more receptive to the many strenuous drugs and procedures I was undergoing,” she says.
When Bradley and other Sole + Luna co-founder Jessica Dietrich talked over coffee one day about their favorite wellness modalities and why there wasn’t a place that offered all these various forms of healing under one roof, the idea for the company was born.
“In June of 2020, we opened our doors in the middle of the pandemic, which was crazy but also kind of a blessing in disguise. It allowed us to slowly roll out our offerings and gave us an opportunity to be thoughtful in how we wanted to grow. We are so grateful for the amazing response we have had the last year and a half and can’t wait to see where we go next,” Bradley expresses.
What Bradley hopes for most is that Sole + Luna can provide a space for clients to rest and heal from life’s stresses and anxieties. “Whether it’s a cup of tea, meditation, a massage or a sauna session, we hope that our clients can find that ‘thing’ that resonates with them to allow for a moment of peace in the craziness of day-to-day life,” she says.
In the coming year, Sole + Luna wants to expand its current location and add new specialists and workshops to its list of offerings, including adding lymphatic enhancement therapy—a healing modality for those who have had lymph nodes removed (like Bradley) and those who are looking to activate the lymphatic system for overall detox and immune support. Bradley and Dietrich are also looking forward to additional Sole + Luna locations in the months and years to come.
“Everybody [needs] and [is] entitled to self-care,” affirms Bradley. “Unfortunately, it took a cancer diagnosis for me to understand just how important this is, but from that it empowered me to bring approachable wellness to my community.”
As for Bradley’s cancer diagnosis and treatment, she says, “I would be lying if I said there weren’t dark days but [my cancer journey] taught me so much about myself, including how resilient I could be. In many ways, I came out the other end happier and stronger and certainly more grateful for this gift we call life.”
“[I want] to say thank you to all those who have paved the way for myself and all those who will be touched by cancer at some point in their lives,” she continues. “I have learned so much about resiliency, humility, love, kindness and gratitude from those in the greater cancer community and my prayer is that I can pay these gifts forward. Cancer is a horrible disease, but there is so much beauty that can come from it and for that part of the journey. I am ever grateful.”