Hi Everyone, this is officially my first blog on my new website!
Today I am writing about my father who was diagnosed with oral cancer (mouth cancer) in March of this year. He is 81 years old. There are two purposes in writing this blog in that I wish to draw people’s attention to just how serious mouth ulceration or any changes in the mouth, lumps, bumps and infections that one might find can be, and how Reiki & other holistic therapies can support cancer treatment.
My father told us in January over Sunday dinner, that he didn’t wear his new false teeth that much because they didn’t seem to fit him properly. We encouraged him to go back to his dentist to have them refitted. We never thought to actually look into his mouth – well you don’t do you. Until the following drama unfolded.
My father went to his dentist at the end of March 2016 reporting that his teeth were not fitting properly and asking whether his dentist could possibly improve the fit. The dentist took one look and exclaimed, “it is not the teeth that are the problem” and she became quite upset “I believe you have something very wrong”. She wrote a letter immediately referring him to Ear, Nose and Throat Specialists, marked urgent, and told him that she suspected he had mouth cancer. My father was flabbergasted, these things don’t happen to you do they? This is a very common condition, becoming more so in young people as well. Might I add, once my father was diagnosed, I asked to look into his mouth with a flashlight. Oh my goodness! It looked like a snow capped mountain range in Switzerland! How did he not notice this while cleaning his teeth? It made me realise just how we all just do things in auto pilot without checking!
The speed at which Basildon Hospital acted was amazing. After many tests to make sure that he was strong and fit enough, with the right mindset for a 14+ hour operation – the operation went ahead in April. It was horrendous, and he didn’t really have a choice either, so he had the various serious and dangerous operation to remove the tumour, which was the biggest the specialist had ever seen. Had he not had the operation, the tumour would have burst through his cheek and jaw (sounding just like something from Alien) and he would die within 10 months.
My sister and I both practice Reiki healing along with other treatments, and when my father was in intensive care on all of those machines, we began treating him 5 days per week for as long as we could.
The treatments were highly effective. So long as we gave him Reiki each day he started to progress and feel better. On the two days per week that we were not there, and my other sister, who does not practice Reiki took over, he started to hit all time lows; worrying more, not getting out of bed, avoiding conversation, feeling utterly exhausted and most poignantly, his vitals were more erratic. So much so, that we often ended up rushing to the hospital at the end of my sister’s visit as she would become very concerned. So working on him gave him energy and strength to fight and stay positive.
Ultimately my father made a very good recovery and was out of hospital within 4 weeks. He had many problems with medications which held his recovery back somewhat, but by the time he got home he was well on his way to feeling better. We have continued to give him Reiki and Reflexology throughout this period.
Since undergoing his operation he has had to attend many appointments with the hospital. Which have not always been the best organised. To the extent that one appointment at Basildon was set for 10.00 a.m. and we sat in the waiting room with many others for over 1 hour before my father became extremely frustrated and annoyed at having to wait so long. So rather than let him loose on the staff, I went over to speak to the receptionist and was told that all 25 people had all been booked in for the same 10.00 a.m. appointment slot. Meaning that patients were being picked almost at random from those waiting. My father was extremely upset. So I took the opportunity to place my hands over his head and do some Reiki quietly in the waiting room. After 15 minutes I sat down, he looked at me and started thanking me for all the support he had received, not only that, he sat quietly waiting his turn without a single murmur of disapproval. At 12.30p.m. rather than tearing the heads off the nursing staff, he was joking and thanking them all for all that they had done. Not a word about the wait, he behaved like a different person. This is a fine example of how Reiki (which cannot be controlled by the healer, as we only channel energy) can help a person to cope in such difficult times. It helps a person to relax and it is an intelligent energy that will work wherever it feels it is most needed. So if someone says to me, it’s my knee that is giving me problems I cannot guarantee that the energy will go there, it will go where it feels it is most needed. In my father’s case it cooled him down and helped him to cope with all that was to come.
He is now in week three and a half of Radiotherapy and my sister and I have been giving him as much treatment as we can find the time to do so. He was fitted with a feeding tube into his stomach (a peg) before radiotherapy began, as usually, after a few weeks of radiotherapy, the mouth region becomes so ulcerated and swollen that patients can no longer eat or drink via their mouths. My father’s “peg” fell out during the night last week and we rushed him back to Hospital to have it refitted. The staff had a chat with him and said ‘well, you have got this far without any ulceration or side effects and whatever you are doing to keep the burning under control. Carry on doing and we won’t need to refit the peg’.
So fingers crossed as we continue to treat him. We hope that he will be able to end the treatments in good spirits as he has to attend Southend Hospital every day for 6 weeks and so far all it has done is leave him feeling extremely tired, and unable to taste food at all.
Hopefully after all that he has been through he will still have some quality of life. My father still has so much he still wants to do, but just needs the energy to do it.
Might I also record from a Reflexologist’s perspective, that I have always regularly given my parents reflexology treatments. Be it for 20 minutes on a visit, but I never saw this coming. Once diagnosed, I wanted to understand why it had not shown itself to me on his reflexes. Admittedly the head, face, teeth and gum reflexes were gritty, but that can mean many things. Reflexology is not diagnostic, but it can show irregularities and help people to identify when things are not right. However, after his diagnosis I sat him in my chair and ran over his feet. Still, nothing was really showing. So I asked him for his hands, and there, between his little finger and ring finger was the strangest piece of skin you could ever feel/see. That to me, is where the cancer has shown itself in the reflexes. As feet, hands and many areas of the body with reflex endings all record what is going on in our lives, and this for me is it.
Lastly, I’d like to encourage people to please check their mouths on a regular basis. If there is any sign of irregularity or something you are unsure of / ulcers that will not heal after a few weeks, don’t panic, but do consult your dentist (or doctor) without delay, as they have been trained to recognise problems such as these. The sooner you are referred to the right people, the better the outcome.