Chemo Relief

Robin | 4:41

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"I was doing my part to help fight the cancer. It wasn't the nightmarish thing you hear."

Chemo Relexology Cancer Breast Cancer Mental Health Stress Chemo Symptom

Story Transcript

Hi. My name is Robin. Back when I was 60 years old, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I had a fairly large tumor on my left breast at a very tiny one on my right. And so they prescribed a whole bunch of different things to treat my breast cancer starting with chemo. And it was pretty aggressive chemo to start off with about 5-6 months of chemo. And shortly after starting that, I was approached by somebody within the department. They were doing a study that was funded by Michigan State University. I live in the state of Michigan and Michigan State University was investigating researching on how reflexology or other alternative forms of medical medicine could perhaps help with some of the treatment. So would I be interested in doing this? It would be no cost. And if I had somebody who could help. They wanted somebody that I could meet very regularly who would perform the reflexology. So I live with my sister. It was very convenient. We made arrangements. The therapist came to our house. She had these charts of the bottom of the foot , showing what my sister needed to do. She kind of walked her through the steps. First she did it and then she had my sister do it. The different parts of the foot like it was on the chart, it showed the outer edge and it would help the lymph nodes, drain the excess chemo out. I really don't remember what all the different areas are, but they all were addressing what the chemo was doing to my body. And so we had it set up, and then, about two or three times a week, my sister would perform the reflexology on both of my feet. We had to time it too, because we're gonna do the arch of the foot and that needed to be two and a half minutes. So my sister was concentrating on my foot, so she'd say, OK, start timing me. And I would be looking at the clock in the living room, it had a second hand on it, so I could tell exactly how long she'd been doing it. Because you want to do it for at least the minimum amount of time. At the time, I really wasn't sure how much it was really doing for me. I figured, Well, it's not gonna hurt and it always feels good to have your feet massaged. So at the very least, it would be relaxing. Now, looking back on it and having heard of other people's experiences with chemo, I went through what I was told, a very aggressive chemo, and yet I didn't have that many bad side effects. I think I had one experience of nausea, exactly one. I was tired a lot of the time and I lost my hair. But the really horrific things that you hear about didn't seem to happen with me. I felt very relaxed. I felt like I was doing something that I was doing my part to help fight the cancer. So, although I wouldn't want to repeat chemo because, like I said, I was tired a lot and I did lose my hair. It wasn't the nightmarish thing that you hear that some people go through. With reflexology, the worst thing that's gonna happen to you is that you're gonna feel very relaxed and calm. And so if you have that opportunity presented to you, I would advise everybody to go for it. It's not going to hurt. It could very well help. And you will feel that you are more in control of what's going on in your life, right then, at a time when you don't feel in control of anything. You've got this thing going through your body. You've got chemicals being pumped into you to fight this thing, going through your body. But at least I can do reflexology and make myself feel a little bit better at the moment. And who knows, maybe it is helping me. So that's my story!