Rollercoaster Ride: A little extra help…#57


Two weeks in to my  treatment I am still waiting (not with eager anticipation you understand) for the side effects of  Radiotherapy to really kick in as no doubt they will.  As the days creep on, I am noticing little things; the threat of cystitis banished by diluted cranberry juice & drinking more water,  my appetite seems to oscillate between not really being bothered about food at all (which worries Himself) & then being ravenously hungry! My skin is a bit itchy, but nothing drastic & aloe vera gel kept in the fridge (thanks Blod) is a truly wonderous thing. I have also had the odd dodgy moment gut-wise, but so far, no-ones leather car upholstery is any danger from me (Cornish Made!).

I am feeling more tired than I have for a while now & yesterday I was suddenly floored by weariness early afternoon. For those of you who have never experienced it yourself, there is something quite surprising & not a little frustrating about feeling this way. It isn’t the best.

decrepitMy major problem at the moment though remains the muscular knots, aches, pains. It’s getting harder every day to get off the bench after I finish my daily zaps.

So I was glad to toddle off this morning for my assessment appointment with one of the Complementary Therapists attached to Springfield CC at the nearby Star Field Hospice.

A word about Hospices. I am mindful that  members of the public who haven’t had direct contact with Palliative Care or Hospice Care may have an incomplete understanding of what they do. These wonderful services offer so much more than just end of life care, help with symptom control can make a huge difference to people with cancer to name but one important element of the work they do. Being referred doesn’t necessarily mean that The End is Nigh & in fact people can be seen by palliative services, even go into hospices & then be discharged from them, which is why it’s a shame that more people & not just those with cancer don’t get access to it earlier on.

It did  cross my mind as I pulled up outside Star Field, that people who don’t realise all of this,. might worry about being seen there, even perhaps worry that they aren’t being told everything…

Anyway. I had very comprehensive, relaxed & useful time with Helping Hands, the Complementary Therapist who carried out the assessment. Young, quietly confident & clearly loving her work I felt better even though all we did was talk! MS-Dine-in-for-£10

We discussed additional resources that are available if needed: there’s a group session for people who have fatigue where you can get handy tips & advice about dealing with impact of the treatment. Personally, I won’t tap into it as I think I have my strategies pretty much in place so will leave a space for someone who needs it.

It’s been gratifying over the course of my time in the NHS to see a softening of the cynicism  (to some degree) of the medical professions towards complementary therapies. Nowadays , particularly in cancer & increasingly in dementia & stroke care, it’s starting to be more commonplace; although the jury is still out as far as the medical profession & pharmacetuical companies are concerned.pravda

Some complementary therapies are more accepted than others,  massage already practised by Physiotherapists is probably the most “comfortable” & acupuncture for some uses in chronic pain relief, while the “more way out” (not my words!) such as reiki, reflexology have been scrutinised by researchers & have been found to be wanting.

It’s equally as important as far as I’m concerned to take the research with as much of a pinch of salt as the sceptics do these therapies, after all, how “independent” will any industry be in conducting research where there is a vested interest in not disrupting the status quo & let’s face it, medicine & pharmaceutical companies don’t have a squeaky clean record in this regard either…

So I am looking forward to my massage & reiki sessions because I am confident that it will do me no end of good & that is half the battle!complementaryI’m off to hug a tree now!

Holly xx

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