Supporting those with cancer, and their caregivers, through all stages of treatment.
My Cancer Experience
In the spring of 2013, while taking a shower, I felt a lump in my left breast. It was a large lump, but I’d never felt it before, so I assumed (hoped) it was a cyst. I called my gynecologist and was in for a checkup within a couple of days. She thought it was probably a cyst, too, but ordered an ultrasound.
It didn’t look like a cyst.
Next came the biopsy.
Because of the Memorial Day holiday, followed by the surgeon’s week-long vacation, I had to wait nearly 10 days for the results. Needless to say, this was an extremely stressful time for me.
I got through it with the support of my family and my minister and my friends, and with daily self-Reiki treatments, which helped to keep my mind from spinning, which helped to bring me some sense of peace.
Once I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was on the treatment fast track: mastectomy, healing from the mastectomy, four rounds of chemo spaced three weeks apart.
What kept me generally upbeat, generally pain free, and generally free from chemo side effects were regular Reiki treatments: both daily self-Reiki and Reiki treatments from other practitioners, done from a distance.
Pre-surgical Reiki: prepared me emotionally and physically for the intrusion of surgery.
Post-surgical Reiki: helped me with (1) pain management: I did not take the prescription pain medications at all and only took an over-the-counter pain medication once. (2) Two mild bouts of post-surgical depression. I woke up feeling very down, called a fellow practitioner, received a distance Reiki session, and immediately felt better.
Post-chemotherapy Reiki: Not having experienced chemotherapy before, and not knowing what to expect, I scheduled my first post-chemo Reiki session for several days after the chemo treatment. In spite of the fact that I was doing daily self-Reiki, I had a few very bad days. The next time, I scheduled a Reiki session for several hours after the chemo treatment. The difference was dramatic.
I am so very grateful that Reiki treatment was available to me. I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through cancer treatment without it.
Your Cancer Experience
Does one of these situations describe where you are in the process of cancer treatment?
You have recently been diagnosed with a malignant tumor.
You are facing or have had surgery.
You are facing or are in the process of receiving chemotherapy or radiation.
You have completed your treatment.
In each case, you are probably anxious or frightened. You may feel emotionally overwhelmed.
If you have undergone surgery, you may be incapacitated or in pain.
If you are receiving chemotherapy or radiation, you may be experiencing unpleasant side effects.
If your treatment has been completed, you may be feeling anxious and unsupported. You’re glad the treatments are over, but you miss the routine and sense of safety and care provided by the medical professionals who have been caring for you.
Caregivers: Whether medical professionals or family members, caregivers experience a great deal of stress. During my treatment, I often felt that the situation was more difficult for those close to me than it was for me. How are you feeling?
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How I Can Help
I have shared Reiki treatments with humans for many years, but after my experience with cancer, my heart told me that my focus needed to be on assisting others facing this particular challenge—both the persons with cancer and their caregivers.
Unfortunately, I almost immediately had the opportunity to hone my skills further when a dear friend was diagnosed with breast cancer.
My friend was kind enough to keep a Reiki journal, which she shared with me after her 14 chemo sessions. What follows is the summary. (The summary introduces a weekly log, which I have not included.)
I should mention that my friend was also a Reiki student of mine and practiced daily self-Reiki sessions in addition to her sessions with me.
I am a 44 year-old woman diagnosed with breast cancer in March of 2014. I began chemotherapy treatments in April of 2014 and received regular Reiki sessions, from a distance, throughout and alongside my drug therapy.
We experimented with how to time the sessions in relation to when I received the meds. In most instances we followed chemo with a Reiki session that same evening. When I went from bi-weekly AC meds to weekly Taxol meds the transition was difficult and the side effects intensified initially. We added a session before chemo (the night before) and then the evening following chemo. This was tremendously helpful in minimizing the side effects, which consisted of fatigue and body aches primarily.
There was a week (week 8 of 12 Taxol) where we had some scheduling conflicts and I was not able to receive Reiki the night before. Pam texted me while I was in the chemo chair asking if I wanted to have a session then. This was a huge difference. Vast reduction in my side effects, no need for follow up Reiki as the session given during chemo was highly effective. And I also fell asleep in the chair, I was so relaxed! We continued with this method and timing for the remainder of my treatments.
The emotional component of anxiety and depression was omnipresent throughout treatment, but I always felt calmer and more centered after Reiki.
Pam’s Note: I also shared Reiki sessions with Mia after her surgery (which followed chemotherapy) and occasionally during her six-week course of radiation. But the bulk of our sessions were concentrated around her chemotherapy treatment, which is when she expressed the most need and found the sessions most helpful.
In the 15 years I have been a professional Reiki practitioner, I have also worked with clients with colon, pancreatic, and bone cancer. All sessions were conducted from a distance.
Because each person’s needs are different, the focus and frequency of sessions will vary. You can schedule as many or as few sessions as you need: Pre-surgical, post-surgical, during or post-chemotherapy treatments, pre- or post- radiation, at any time after the medical intervention has ended.
To assist you with payment, I offer multi-session packages.
I also offer reduced fees for patients experiencing financial hardship.
To learn more about Reiki sessions, you can visit “What is Reiki?”
Please also feel free to contact me so we can set up a time to speak by phone. I will be happy to answer any of your questions about Reiki treatment. You will be under no obligation.
I can’t know exactly what you are going through. Each of us responds to physical and emotional trauma differently. But because I have gone through a version of it, I can offer a compassionate ear and Reiki hands that can help to ease your burden. It would be an honor to assist you in any way I can.
Caregivers: I haven’t forgotten about you! A Reiki treatment can ease the tension in your body, your mind, your heart. It is a beautiful gift to give yourself.
Classes for patients and for caregivers are available. You will learn daily self-Reiki as well as Reiki for others. You can learn more on the Reiki Classes page.