#9 – Visualization, Sound and Vibration

Lovely sound therapy for cancer.

Lovely sound therapy for cancer.

This is where I may lose some of you – but I don’t mind.  Since the outset of this diagnosis we have used two elements together – Tibetan Singing Bowls and Visualization.  My belief in visualization is unshakeable, and here’s why.  More than 30 years ago my mother and my mother’s sister, my aunt, where both diagnosed within weeks of each other with breast cancer.  My family, my mother, was very poor, and the medical assistance that she received was what the system here in Canada allowed for.  Saying that, I feel our medical system is pretty good.  However, my aunt, was very wealthy.  She was able to access the best specialists and explore opportunities not open to my mother.  They both had surgery – my mother had a mastectomy and lymphectomy – my aunt had a double mastectomy (although I believe the cancer was only in one breast) and lymphectomy.  My mother survived, my aunt died.  My mother for the balance of her days (which was another 25 years) told us the difference was that she imagined Roman gladiators going through the chemo line battling and slaying all the cancerous cells, something she said that my aunt considered too fanciful.

My husband is a music teacher and believes in the difference music can make.  For years we have had various books lying around the house about music therapy – he’s always believed that we have a tone and harmony unique to each of us.  When he was diagnosed with cancer we lost a few days to shock.  Once we got back up and running we started to use the Tibetan bowls directly on his chest.  The main bowl that I use is a G – Throat Chakra.  When I place the bowl on his chest and use the mallet on the rim the vibrations and sound are quite soothing.  He seems to find a great deal of relief and sleep comes quite quickly.  While I am using the bowl I try to engage his imagination by creating a scene for him.  I say things such as “feel the vibrations fill your lungs.  Your right lung is full, now your left lung.  The vibrations create a bright light in your lungs and create harmony and balance for your healthy cells.  Use your mind to find the cells that don’t belong and see them die.”  Something along these lines.  We do this each night at bedtime so that he has the opportunity to engage his imagination and visualize the cancer leaving his body through the night.  He heads into his night time sleep very relaxed.

There is lots of information on all of the above, on Tibetan singing bowls as an alternate therapy, on sound therapy, on visualization.  In our case this is something that we believe in and that poses little risk if any.  Meditation, visualization, de-stressing, relaxing all help to allow the body to focus its energy on the real battle against cancer.

The Second Chemo Treatment

So yesterday was my husband’s second infusion of chemotherapy.  There was a lot of apprehension around it since the nausea was quite debilitating for the first treatment.  Having said that we definitely took a different approach to this session.  The emphasis on fluid intake is so that the system efficiently flushes out the toxins – so the night before, the morning of, and immediately after the session we focused on getting him to drink lots of fluids.  We left the chemotherapy treatment with an order for hydration for today and for the following three days, if necessary.  The IV hydration will help to ensure that adequate fluids are in there moving out the excess chemo.

I always have questions for the dietician, I feel sorry for her!  Yesterday I asked about taking vitamin supplements.  She indicated that extreme care should be taken when using vitamins or taking antioxidants.  The antioxidants serve to strengthen or protect the cells, and so can actually interfere with chemo since chemo is designed to attack all fast growing cells, whether healthy or diseased.  So the antioxidants are out for now. 

We also spoke about getting the most bang for our buck when it comes to ingesting proteins to rebuild his blood cells, we wanted to know what meat/fish/poultry product was the best.  She hedged quite a bit on this one since, as she stated, the cut of the meat and the preparation were also important.  At the end of our chat she basically encouraged us to stick with “muscle” meats and to look for lean cuts. 

His taste buds have changed dramatically though and sweet things taste too sickly sweet, and salty things taste too salty, her simple tip to address this – if it tastes too salty, add a small pinch of sugar.  If it tastes too sweet, add a small pinch of salt.  Hopefully this will do the trick, but he’s still a bit too nauseous to put it to the test. 

Today he is wiped out and has spent most of his time resting in bed or in his chair.  This is much the same as the first time, however, our understanding of the process has taken a lot of the stress out of it.  We continue to do the other “non-traditional” things in addition to the chemo; including Tibetan bowls, visualization, reflexology and Tai Chi.  These are part of our daily routine and, if nothing else, are quite relaxing and soothing for him.