My first cancer patient

If there is one thing that I like about my practice, it is that it allows me to meet many different people that I can really help. Even if it is only a one hour ; one hour and a half or a two hours treatment, I can still feel a lot about those patients and I enjoy learning from them. Some are really impressive, like this woman whom I often thought about afterwards.

One day, we got a call from a woman that had a pleasant and smiling voice ; she was even laughing quietly. She wanted to get a  massage for 1.5 hours. We gave her an appointment, and then when we asked her the basic questions about her health we were amazed to find out that she had an advanced lung cancer. It was a stage 4 and the cancer cells had already migrated to her kidneys and her bones.

Our treatment is a deep-tissue massage and when I was studying Chinese traditional medicine in China we did not treat serious lung or bone cancer patients because they are considered to be too fragile to be able to sustain such a demanding therapy. But her smiling voice ; her strong determination and her respectful insistence made us admire her a lot and we agreed to try to help her.

I am still young to face death and it was the very first time that I was so close physically to a terminally ill cancer patient. But the moment I saw her appearing in my treatment room, I understood immediately that sometimes “good wishes” might be beautiful but they ultimately remain only wishes.

Even if she carried a big smile, the image of death was present on her face quite visibly. And when I began to spread the massage cream on her body, I was shocked to find how skinny she was. There was almost no flesh left, she was scary bony and her skin was red and sensitive because of the chemotherapy.

But except those obvious signs of illness, according to her body proportions and smooth skin on her long legs, I could see that she was still a young and beautiful woman.

At first, I was seriously wondering where I could put my weight on her body because it seemed that a tiny little pressure on her could crush her bones. But anyway, I took a deep breath ; adjusted myself and began to administer her the treatment.

Most of the time, she was quiet ; not moving at all. But suddenly she sighed, a lengthy one, a deep one, from the deepest part of her fragile body which had been suffering so much, and she softly whispered “Ça fait du bien.” (Feels so good.) Those were the only words she said during the whole treatment.

At the end of the massage, I left to give her some time to put her clothes on and when I came back in the waiting room, she was about ready to leave. She thanked me a lot for my treatment and asked for my business card before leaving with a luminous smile on her beautiful face.

When I returned to the treatment room, I was deeply touched to find out that she had neatly folded the towel and carefully placed it on the massage table ; arranged everything extremely tidy, and there was 130$ lying on the table.

Suddenly, tears came up in my eyes and I rushed out of the room to find her in the corridor. I didn’t know what to say but I just went to her and hugged her silently ; she hugged me back. I then said “Bonne chance.” (Good luck.) These were the only words I could utter. We all know that sometimes good wishes are only wishes but I still wanted to wish her “Bonne chance.”

Normally, I hold no expectations for people to come back. As long as I can feel that I did my massage thoroughly, for anything else I just let it be. But that time I had expectations for her ; I hoped that I could get another call from her because it would have been more than a simple call, it would have been a call from this patient who would have been still alive.


22/12/2018 21:29 分类: 评论(0) 阅读()


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