Archives for the month of: February, 2014
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Photo courtesy google images

I lost a beautiful client last week.  She had been part of my life for two and a half years and showed me how it is possible to have cancer but not to live a life of cancer.  

She was having rounds of chemo in those two and a half years, different ones, different doses, sometimes having a break of a few weeks for special events – like the wedding of her beautiful daughter.  Life continued and I never felt like she was “battling” cancer, she wasn’t “fighting” – she was living her life instead, literally always with a smile on her face.

There was only one time I ever saw her upset – she had developed ascites (a collection of fluid in the abdomen) and was in pain and uncomfortable and didn’t quite understand what was happening.  The next time I saw her she was her beautiful smiley self.  The ascites never went of course, that is part of the progression of the disease.  I saw her a few more times, including a visit to her home once when she wasn’t up to coming to me and once after that when she made it all the way up two flights of stairs to come to the clinic.  Determination.  She was puffed but still smiling.

Last Wednesday, all throughout the day, I thought of her.  I knew she had gone into hospital and when I got home on Wednesday night I promised myself to message her daughter in the morning to find out how she was doing.  After my first client on Thursday morning I switched on my phone and there was a message to say that she had passed away the night before with her husband by her side.

I am honoured to have been able to spend time with you J, you have touched my life and I am better for having had you in it. 

 

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I had a new client on the weekend.  Her daughter had called a week before to check that I had experience working with breast cancer and of course I was able to reassure her that I did.  On Saturday she came with her mother who is visiting from Germany.

Mum had breast cancer in January 2013.  She had a mastectomy, no radiation or chemo and is on Tamoxifen.  Here’s the clincher … she’s been having MLD in Germany every week since her surgery!  In Germany MLD is provided on Medicare, free of charge.  My goodness, wouldn’t that be nice here in Australia – that is the way it SHOULD be.  That way the risk of developing lymphoedema is minimised significantly.

I have to say I was a little nervous – here was someone who has had a lot of MLD, in a country where it is a way of life.  To me it would be a test of my abilities and in my own head I was worried that my technique wouldn’t be up to what she received in Germany (even though I get fantastic results and am totally convinced by the efficiency of the training I have received).

Daughter stayed in the room during the treatment as Mum spoke no English and she was avidly watching the process.  I could see that after I had created pathways away from the affected axilla to the unaffected side and down to the nodes in her groin and started on her arm, she had questions.  So I explained how we cleared the arm, moving fluid out from the midline to the outside of the arm, away from the armpit, then moved it along the outside of the arm up to the neck area.

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Photo courtesy Google Images, http://www.northernpts.com

At this stage, she translated for Mum what we were talking about and Mum’s response was that I was being much more thorough than anything she had in Germany!  In Germany they don’t seem to create pathways down to the groin, certainly not to the level that I’ve been taught.  And the arm work is much more intricate than what she has had before.  And she loved being turned on her side and having work done to move the fluid away from the armpit and towards the deep nodes lining the spinal column.

It was a lovely confirmation on just how effective Vodder treatment is and I’m so pleased that I took the time last year to requalify in the technique.