Friday, March 30, 2012

Should this happen?

To end my month of March hiatus I signed up for my first ever "professional" massage. I was so looking forward to this but also quite apprehensive. I never thought I would have the courage to have a massage because of my surgeries. An uncomfortable position for someone that has had to have a mastectomy. I decided to treat myself to this hoping for some relief from both the physical and emotional stresses of day to day life right now.

What I did not expect was to be turned away from having my massage today because I have cancer.  I was asked to fill out a few pages of paper work and sign a waiver, which I did. However, when we discussed my cancer she told me she would not be able to give me a massage since I have cancer, that  they were taught there is a risk of spreading the cancer from massage therapy. I believe its from stimulating the lymph system. Even though I am considered NED ( no evidence of disease),  I am actively in treatment, I would need a doctors note with permission to have a massage.I felt humiliated, sad, disappointed and like I wanted to run out of the building!

The massage therapist was nice and was not rude to me at all. 
She's just following protocol and looking out for my best interest. She did say I could get a note from my Onc and come back.It was just hard to hear and caught me off guard which was embarrassing. The situation was just difficult.

 I am a bit torn here. As a Personal Trainer, I too can refuse to train someone if I feel there is too great a risk, and require a doctors note if I feel it is necessary. So, I understand that. At the same time, I can't help but feel  I should be able to sign the waiver, understand the risk, and make the decision myself.
  • When I just spoke with my nurse after I got home, she said it does happen sometimes ( that people are turned away). The massage therapists are afraid of spread, braking bones and lymphodema.She said, next time just get a note from my Onc. and it would be fine. I told her I wasn't feeling very "massagy" anymore. My hubby told me "  The best massages are here at home anyways. You would have been disappointed". I think he's right.
  • We talked about how this situation today may have been prevented. Perhaps some overall health questions on the phone or online before you show up for a massage and have to be told at the last minute " I can't give you a massage if you have cancer".
On the bright side...I kicked it in my spin and yoga classes and after I had a little pity party decided I was not going to let this one thing take away from the great morning I had already had!

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