Going out with a CanSupport Home Care Team in Delhi, India

Today, I began my work with the Home Care teams by accompanying the team with a counselor of CanSupport whom I have trained. I went with her team which that day was the counselor, a nurse, myself, and a driver. Sometimes an area has two teams with one doctor, so if that is the case, the doctor regularly goes between the two teams. Before we left the office, they insisted I have tea with the teams, and I met the new doctor in their area. There are over 20 teams in Delhi, each palliative care team has a doctor, nurse, trained counselor, and driver. The new doctor is very interested in my work, and seemed to have a quick understanding of what it brings to the patients.


Zuleikha with a patient


A nurse and a counselor

“So, what you’re actually doing is refocusing the attention on their energy, rather than the pain.”

Later, the trained counselor said, “this Relaxation Therapy [that’s what everyone calls RTHEP©] is bringing insight to care. It is not exactly working on the body, it works on what is going on inside us…not exactly our body. It works on the insight in our mind, and it brings a great feeling.”

I’m very glad to be back in Delhi doing this work. I remember there are about 20 million people in the city of Delhi. We work with a lot of lower income people. I have gone out with many teams so many times, and now I notice that we are all getting more comfortable with each other, and more comfortable bringing my work into each team for the patients. It turns out that the counselors do in fact use the exercises with the patients. This is very good news!

With one patient, we did what the counselors now call “the Shanti exercise.” This is  an exercise which I originally developed for parents living with the stress of taking care of their children living with cancer. Shanti means ‘Peace.’  They call it this, because people feel a peaceful feeling after they do it. This is what I tell many patients, in my simple Hindi: “it is a way of saying ‘hello to my mind,’ ‘hello to my inside quiet,’ ‘I care for you, my self,’ and ‘my heart, I feel you.’ ”

Today we saw four patients. These are palliative cancer patients, meaning they are living with their cancer, in the best ways they can, and most, in poor conditions. “Four is not so many,” some might say. Well, one was not at home, though the appointment had been made. And then we had to get to the other places, driving down the crowded roads or lanes, as the case may be, then walk for a while to each house, then drive to another. It all takes time. These actual visits took up the better part of the day. Hours. This is part of what is so great, each patient getting seen by a whole team, such care, such care.

I am in India. It is a wonderful place to try these modalities—it is a place where often “things” don’t work and yet the connection between people and this way of teaching does.

Seeing these patients and their stress from going through such terrible illness and treatment, and then seeing the patient and their family have a moment or two of relaxation, calm, and some laughter—makes me think, ‘yes’ this is a good way to serve.

It was a great day.


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