Cycle 3, day 12. This morning, feeling pretty energetic (11 hours of sleep helped quite a bit, as did a rebound that started to take hold a few days ago), I went to my second qigong class at a local studio. Qigong is a Chinese practice of movement, meditation, and breathing that was recommended to me as a way to manage the pain and lack of energy associated with chemo. I went once before, at a later point in the cycle, and I didn’t feel much one way or the other. It was relatively relaxing, and the biggest selling point was that it was a very small class that was willing to accommodate my need to keep my distance from other members of the class due to immunity concerns.
Today, I got up and was out the door at 7:30 a.m. to get to the early morning class. I started the class feeling strong and midway through was in the bathroom with gastrointestinal distress. This happened once again before the end of class, along with sweating and a need for a five-minute sitting break. I thought, “oh great, not this again, I’m back to where I was a week ago.” However, I learned after class that this can be common for newcomers to the practice, as the good energy — qi — is released and seeks to remove toxins from the body. Needless to say, I have ample toxins. I came home, slept for two hours, and then felt pretty good the rest of the day. I guess there is something to qigong and at this point, I’ll try anything.
Speaking of trying anything, on Monday I will have my first reiki session, recommended to me by a member of my care team. Reiki is a healing technique, whereby the practitioner delivers healing energy through touch. So far, I’ve been impressed with the therapist, who contacted me via email when she learned of my situation after I made the appointment. I figure that somewhere in the midst of qigong, reiki, massage, and whatever other measures I can take, including walking, I’ll be able to mitigate the side effects of treatment. One can only hope.