Often patients battling cancer have more than one fight on their hands. Imagine receiving radiation treatment for brainstem cancer and as a result, your side effects from treatment mimicked stroke symptoms.
For 68-year-old Noblesville resident, Kathleen Lane, this reality is all too familiar. After being diagnosed with metastatic renal cell carcinoma cancer, Kathleen underwent radiation treatment. While radiation fought her cancer, it resulted in symptoms that made daily activities a challenge. She was unable to dress herself and was dependent on her husband.
After visiting her neurologist, Kathleen was sent to Riverview Health Rehab & Fitness in Noblesville for occupational therapy (OT). Occupational therapists work with clients of all ages on strengthening their physical, mental and cognitive skills. They treat everything from complex neurological disorders (e.g., multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease or stroke) to upper extremity injuries, workplace assessments and training for leisure activities. Some of the everyday activities occupational therapists assist clients with include getting dressed, taking a bath, moving safely and basic household chores such as laundry and cooking.
Throughout her therapy, the OT team worked on several strategies to help Kathleen return to self-sufficiency. After about seven weeks of occupational therapy, two times a week, she’s now able to dress herself and is even working toward returning to her love of embroidery.
“Therapy was very helpful. It allowed me to relearn how to dress myself and how to get up and down because I had little control on my right side.” Kathleen said. “My therapist, Lori Radford, was great and very patient when she worked with me. I’m definitely able to do more now as a result of receiving occupational therapy.”
April is Occupational Therapy Month, and this is just one story of how a person’s life can be improved through occupational therapy. If you think you or a loved one would benefit from OT, please talk to your primary care provider. He or she can order an OT evaluation and schedule an initial appointment.