Therapeutic Touch: Chemo 4 – Day 16

Today I took up the opportunity to have some relaxation therapy at my local Maggie’s centre. I’m finding that the more I hear about my operation and what it involves, the more anxious I am getting!…probably not helped by the fact that I looked up a video of the operation on YouTube – I don’t recommend this!…I only got about 30 seconds in!

Anyway…I use meditation to relax ordinarily but lately my mind is just wondering too much thinking about the next few weeks so what I really wanted was a message. Unfortunely because of where my cancer is in my body I am not allowed a massage- rubbish I know! Instead I am advised to only have reflexology or Indian head massage. However, for a therapist to work on a cancer patient they require special insurance and as a result most therapists won’t go near someone with cancer…so frustrating!
Maggie’s, however, have a wonderful volunteer(!) therapist who specialises in physiotherapy, massage and reflexology. She provides 6 free sessions to anyone with cancer who would like to take up the offer. Isn’t that amazing! Understandably her waiting list is a few weeks but I managed to get an appointment and today I went for my first session. 

During the session I lay down and was guided through some yoga breathing before she started playing some meditation music. Whilst I focused on my breathing she began working on my feet and ankles. She then moved on to my shoulders and arms, taking time to rotate and loosen every joint whilst also massaging the muscles. This was followed by a head massage before she returned to my feet.

It was utter bliss! I had no idea how tense I was until she started working on all of my joints and muscles…whilst being careful to avoid any of the areas that my cancer is located.

Afterwards I felt as light as a feather and much more relaxed, both mentally and physically, than I have been in ages.

I also felt a little bit emotional. It wasn’t until she stated the treatment that I started to appreciate that for the past three months I have been touched by so many strangers. I have been examined, scanned (MRI, CT and ultrasound), had blood tests, fluid drained for my abdomen (twice), fluid biopsies taken from my lung, tissue biopsies taken from my abdomen, I’ve had an IV for fluid and for chemo on several occasions, I’ve had two blood transfusions and I’ve acquired several new abdominal scars….all whilst awake, all in the space of three months and all by strangers touching me. It’s all quite overwhelming to think about. Today, however, was the first time I was being touched in a way that was about my emotional health and under my guidance. It was both powerful and moving to feel I had ownership over my body again.

I am so grateful to Maggie’s for providing this and giving me back a little bit of control and conform in a difficult physical and emotional journey. I wish more therapists were able to offer such a wonderful service to people going through cancer treatment – it is so valuable to both our journey and recovery.

Love and light, Fi xx

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