“Lovely”, “thoroughly enjoyable,” and “very relaxing” aren’t terms that are normally associated with the treatment cancer patients receive. However, these are the words Vicki Faul uses to describe her care at The Scarborough Hospital (TSH).
Vicki was diagnosed with colon cancer in the fall of 2015. She had surgery to remove the tumour and then chemotherapy “just as insurance so nothing would come back to bite me,” she jokes.
During her chemotherapy, Vicki was able to benefit from an innovative partnership between TSH and Centennial College to have students deliver massage therapy to patients in TSH’s Oncology Clinic.
“I wasn’t overly stressed about my cancer treatment because the surgery had removed the tumour, but receiving the massage therapy helped to alleviate any stress I did have and it made the chemotherapy go faster,” Vicki admits.
Maggie Mann, Faculty Member in the Massage Therapy program at Centennial College, also points out that massage therapy has many other benefits for cancer patients, “including reducing pain, sleep disturbances, and nausea.”
“The staff and physicians in the Oncology Clinic do an incredible job in treating patients throughout the entire journey – from diagnosis, to surgery, through treatment, and onto supportive care and recovery,” adds Sari Greenwood, Regional Director of the Central East Regional Cancer Program and Patient Care Director, Oncology and Palliative Care at TSH.
“Massage therapy was a perfect addition to our holistic approach.”
Vicki also praises the team at TSH, and especially the professionalism and compassion of the nursing staff. “During my last treatment all the nurses gave me a big hug. They were wonderful.”