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Shout-out for massages

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2015

I did 6 rounds of R-Chop starting Jan 2015. August 2015 I started the first of 3 cycles of RICE. Through all of it I managed to work most of the time at a job where I sit a lot. At home I napped and sat. I didn't realize how weak I was until December when I tried to do some Christmas shopping. Feb-Mar 2016 was prep for SCT. It was put on hold in April. In June 2016 I was told the SCT was off the table. YEAH! Right? Except I got tired walking from my car to my desk at work (about the length of a football field). I pushed on to walk more but it didn't seem to help. My leg muscles felt "stiff". 

Fortunately my youngest is a massage therapist. When I was telling her about how I felt and she told me that I was "tight in the hips" and needed a msaage. Unfortunately she doesn't live close enough I can "visit" her once a week for a massage. So I found a place near my house and started going there once a week. After the first 3 sessions I felt so much better. My leg muscles no longer felt so stiff and I was actually able to walk longer distances before having to rest. By Dec 2016 I was really feeling great but it was winter and walking outside was not easy. Then I fell and hurt my back. After I healed same dtr gave me a gift certificate to a higher end massage parlor. I started there in Feb, every other week. I still go to the other place on the opposite week.

At this place I am seeing a massage therapist who has been focusing on specific issues I am still having. Two weeks ago I tried to explain a problem I was having with my left leg. It was hard to describe the feeling.

Here is what I find interesting. The therapist kind of stares at me and says "it sound like lymphodema".  I kind of questioned it but he said that with my history it is possible I have some blockage in the lymph system in my left leg. He wanted to try doing a lymphatic massage. I had t agree it wouldn't hurt to try. It is a light touch but that weird feeling in my left leg is gone. I saw him today and told him how much it helped. He also told me that like the blood system the lymph system needs us to walk to get those fluids moving upwards towards the torso & the heart. 

I have also learned that if a person is going through any kind of ancer treatment you need to talk to your Drs before getting any kind of massage. 

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 828
Joined: Mar 2013

Hi Linda, about a year ago I started having lymphodema in my legs. They were badly swollen. Both my family doctor and oncologist tried to figure out what was going on. I took antibiotics, diuretics (lasix-ugh), had ultrasounds, and started wearing compression stockings. All to no avail.

I had a massage while on a cruise. The therapist really worked on my legs using arnica oil scented with rosemary--heavenly. Within a few days, my legs were completely back to normal. When I point out to my family doctor or oncologist that I have my skinny legs back, they don't understand why but smirk when I credit my massage therapist. 

It is not my cup of tea to have a weekly massage, but I am happy that it helps you so much. I prefer Reiki which is done by touch while fully clothed. (I'm not too keen on having a stranger rub my naked body, although I do know it is all very professional). 

I first experienced Reiki thouugh the Integrated Medicine Department at my local hospital. They offer such complementary medicine services as reiki, massage, acupuncture, aromatherapy, meditation, nutrtrition,music therapy, and more. Many people think these modalities are quackery and that is fine. They probably wouldn't work for them. Even M.D. Anderson has an Intergrative Medicine department. 

These practices are based on energy and spirtuality rather than hard science. For me, that doesn't mean quackery. There are many religious and spiritual things which can't be proven or disproven by science. If the therapy helps the patient emotionally and spiritually, along with conventional therapy, great!

Thank you for your post.

Hugs,

Rocquie

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2015

The massage therapist I go to does the naked body massage. The massage place in the mall I go to every other week they do massage with you clothed. I usually make sure I have something on that is not real heavy. Of course with my youngest being a massage therapist (in the city) I have learned a lot about their standards and tehcniques. They both play very soothing music but I like the music that is played at the mall place better. I know of several people who love Reiki but I have not tried it yet. I believe meditation is the key to staying in balance and relaxed. I've heard that there are cancer centers that also employ massage therapists for the benefit of their patients. 

 

ShadyGuy
Posts: 386
Joined: Jan 2017

Like other placebo effects, Reiki is pseudoscience. It is based on chi which practitioners say is a "universal life force". There is no empirical evidence that such a life force exists. The same can be said about God, faith and any number of other things. No emperical evidence exists. However the affect of the massage can be very real benefit to "clogged" lymph vessels, sore muscles and poor circulation. Clinical research has not shown Reiki to be effective as a medical treatment for any medical condition. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that Reiki should not be a replacement for conventional treatment. I say bull hockey. If it works for you then use it. Some people get relief from prayer, exercise, meditation and a number of other practices. The ancient Egyptians worshipped the Sun God Ra for at least 3,500 Years. Hey, no emperical evidence of anyone named Ra, but so what? It worked for them. Take your comfort where you find it.

po18guy
Posts: 991
Joined: Nov 2011

I do not believe in Australia. Oh, it's on the map, but so what? I can draw a continient and put it on my own map. Does not make it real. People say Australia is there, but I've never seen it. There are pictures, but those could easily be faked. Everyone talks about it, but talk is cheap. Take me there and perhaps I will believe you. Until then, I must take it on faith that Australia exists. Belief (in anything) must be based on reason or it is, by definition, unreasonable, correct? I believe in the immaterial based on the evidence. Others disbelieve in the immaterial despite the evidence. I see only one as being a reasonable position. Enough derailing.

As to massage, lymphoma is controversial regarding massage inasmuch as tumor cells are circulating in the blood and lymph. Massage carries at least the potential to move tumor cells into circulation, thus advancing the spread of the disease. Practically, there is no way of knowing, but will we risk it? As lindary mentioned, best to ask doctor first. 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2015

Shady Guy, The way you started out I wasn't sure where you were going. I do agree with your conclusion.  

About a month ago I read an article about medical testing. One of the comments was about the number of people who got better on the placebo. It resulted in additional testing with placebos. I can't find the news article but I did find someting on WebMD.  

http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/what-is-the-placebo-effect#1

 

ShadyGuy
Posts: 386
Joined: Jan 2017

or at least makes us feel better while we croak. Nothing wrong with that.

Evarista
Posts: 255
Joined: May 2017

Hi...I have peripheral neuropathy/pain/weakness in my legs (6 weeks out from 6th round R-EPOCH for DLBCL) and am interested in trying some gentle massage to see if that helps. However, my platelet count is still low (128) and my ONC has advised me to not get any deep tissue massage because of blood clot issues (I already have one clot in a smaller arm vessel). I have zero experience with massage and would like to know if there is a specific phrase or "kind" of massage that I should be looking for?  I am not looking for "lymphatic massage".  

When I go on Yelp, I see Swedish massage, Hot Stone massage, a lot of hype, and a bunch of folks raving about how "strong" the masseuse/masseur was.  Not helpful!  Any guidance?

Rocquie's picture
Rocquie
Posts: 828
Joined: Mar 2013

Try to get a recommendation for a professional massage therapist through your doctor, or a nurse, or a counselor at your clinic. Once you meet with the therapist, tell them just what you have told us as far as what you are looking for. They will know what to do. 

Best wishes and enjoy your massage,

Rocquie

 

BKBrown80
Posts: 1
Joined: Jul 2017

It has been about 8 weeks since my last R-EPOCH treatment, for large B-cell lymphoma, but I am experiencing joint and muscle pain that I never had before.  I became weaker during therapy and now have more energy, but now I hurt constantly. Mornings are the worst, I sometimes dread my first steps. I am 37 years old and my body all of a sudden feels like it is quitting on me, even more than  I did while fighting lymphoma.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated. 

lindary's picture
lindary
Posts: 641
Joined: Mar 2015

You want to make sure the massage therapist is licensed and has received training in dealing with cancer patients/survivors. Also tell them about the blood counts and ask them to keep the pressure light. If at any time you feel they are "pressing" too hard, say something. The place I go to is Massage Envy and I am pleased with the person they set me up with. There was a long list of questions I had to answer first so that they could recommend the best person on their staff.

 

This isn't to say that you can't find a qualified person who is an independent massage therapist. The key is to make sure they understand your situtation with the low blood count and need a soft touch. 

Even though I was working on days I didn't have chemo I was still doing more sitting and laying down than I normally would have. Being in my 60s means that the muscles didn't come back as quick as when I was younger. I am sure my muscles took a thrashing with the infrequent bouts of activity. I also learned last year that I have no cartilage in my left knee. Massages have helped me a lot. I just let them know where I am having the aches & pains. 

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