Reiki and cancer: Zena’s story

Lizzie Carver|Reiki for Cancer - Zena's StoryWhen I first met Zena, in April 2015, she was undergoing tests for pancreatic cancer.

As a Reiki practitioner herself, she understood that Reiki could help her to cope with what was happening in her body and her life.

Here, in Zena’s own words, is how it was for her:

“When I was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, life became a whirl of hospital appointments and tests.

There’s a lot of waiting time.  You wait for results, for appointments and, with me, for a diagnosis.

Very early on, I decided to have Reiki treatments on a regular basis and in April 2015 I had my first session with Lizzie.  You build a rapport and a trust with a therapist and that often takes time.  I do think you know quite quickly, though, if you get along with someone and I felt confident with Lizzie after the first Reiki.

Most people who have had chemotherapy know you can have highs and lows; it can take quite a toll on your body.  For me, my regular Reiki sessions were something that helped on many levels.

The treatments at first were relaxing, so relaxing I would often fall asleep.  I noticed different things during and after sessions.  Sometimes, I felt a sensation of heat or cold.

There were occasions when I had severe pain and the session relieved the pain.  It’s hard to describe because pain types differ, but there was a particular pain I had and no matter what I did, it just wouldn’t go.  I feel that is where the Reiki has helped me most.  I know the benefits were numerous.  If you feel relaxed and sleep better, pain levels drop.  If you are anxious, worried or your mind doesn’t switch off, it can also affect your body.

For me, Reiki helped my mind, my body and it lifted my spirits.”

Zena Buckland, 3 March 2017

Macmillan Cancer Support quote Reiki as one of the complementary therapies that people may find “relaxing and calming” and that may offer “valuable support” (and this is borne out by the experiences of other clients, too, such as Caroline).

NB: It is important to understand that Reiki is not a “cure” and should never be offered as such, but it can offer great support and comfort to people who are facing a frightening diagnosis and challenging treatment.

Zena lived every moment of her life with zest and love and it was my privilege to share Reiki with her almost every week for more than two years.  Sadly, she died on 30 August 2017 but her warmth and positivity live on in the memories of all her friends and family. 

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