Massage and Cancer
I feel compelled to write about massage and cancer for a few days now. I’m not speaking about aiding recovery with therapeutic touch, Far from it. Modern medicine has made leaps and bounds in fighting and winning against cancer, and as a massage therapist who takes a modern and westernized approach to body work, I would never make claims that massage can battle cancer. I’m talking about the healing and soothing touch of massage with someone dealing with terminal cancer under the care of hospice.
This is for CJ, the quickest friend I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. She was courageous, she was beautiful, still young and full of life, and dieing. “I have terminal cancer” she said, as I stood at the foot of the bed surrounded by her sister and husband. They were all smiling, and joking, and excited to see me. I have dealt with a lot of different people, with a lot of different problems, and gifted to help many of them recover from what ails them. But CJ…. I could not. I could not help her, I could not heal her, but I could be there to make her feel better for a little while. Her sister jokingly said, “I think this is the first time your husband won’t mind you sharing the bed with another man CJ”, and we all chuckled… but CJ was bed ridden, her muscular atrophy was severe, and she was unable to move herself around any more. So carefully we positioned her as needed, as I crawled around the bed to work in each area. CJ was such a courageous woman, as I suppose we will all need to be one day when faced with our demise, and she said to me, “I’ve said my peace and I’m ready to go, but stuff like this, an awesome massage, ohh this is the stuff I’ll miss”. At that point I felt a knot the size of a golf ball in my throat, and near difficult to fight back my tears, but I was surround by such brave people that refused to mourn the end….. but I’m sure they knew I felt the loss that they are enduring.
Massage and cancer go hand in hand if for anything, because one of the most memorable things we take with us is the loving touch of another human being when we say good bye. I’m writing this as CJ’s last days are coming soon, as she stopped eating 27 days ago today, but before I left, she told me “If I’m alive next week, I’m going to call you again”, And I truly hope I can see my friend again. Rest in peace CJ (Washington DC Baby!)
Massage and Cancer