Patients Talk About... Complementary Therapies and Cancer: Roy's Story Video Transcript

Patients talk about... Complementary Therapies and Cancer
Roy's Story
Time: 2:21

Narrator:
Roy was diagnosed with cancer in his throat. His cancer journey brought him some 2,000 miles away from his wife, son, and family business to M. D. Anderson for 6 weeks of radiation therapy.

Roy:
When I was first realized that or was told that I had cancer, my wife began to tell people I had cancer. And as a man, I felt very uncomfortable with that, because having cancer felt like a defect. It felt like a weakness somehow, that I didn't match up strongly enough that I had cancer.

Doctor:
This side we're hitting, we hit it more carefully.

Narrator:
Over the course of time, Roy began to see himself in a different light.

Roy:
Who I am is a physical body, a mental body, and a spiritual body, an energy body, and certainly, M. D. Anderson physicians are doing a great job of locating and treating the physical cancer in my body. But my experience of that, how I'm going to hold that, and how I'm going to be able to deal with it all comes through the other two parts, my mental outlook, and my sort of spiritual outlook on this.

Yoga instructor:
One hand here, one hand here. Start breathing.

Narrator:
To help maintain a positive spirit, Roy tried various complementary therapies... like Yoga. He finds that Yoga helps take his mind off of cancer.

Roy:
You can't be worrying about cancer and watching your breath and stretching your legs to the left and your chest to the right. You know, one of those drops out. And what drops out is the thoughts about cancer, and you start focusing on something else instead, and I think that's very useful for a patient.

Narrator:
Roy also finds massage to be very healing.

Roy:
I can walk through the hospital and pass 3,000 people, and I'm not physically touched by anyone, and because I'm here by myself, not with my family, I don't get to hug my son or my wife. I can, weeks can go by and I haven't touched a person. So it's great to be back in touch and to be touched in a way that doesn't have to do with probing for a tumor but is a healthy, loving caring touch. And it's great to have a break from that constant thought and process about cancer and cancer appointments.

To go back into your body, and your mind, and your spirit, and feel yourself to be fully human again, and develop yourself in the way that you would hope to develop whether you had cancer or not.