Joining The Club

Someone once said to me that having cancer is like belonging to a club you never wanted to join. It takes some of us quite by surprise, for others it’s like we’ve been expecting the card to arrive for a while. And not forgetting the free membership for family and those who care about us!

The ongoing fees are extortionate in terms of cost to our peace of mind, the impact on our family and friends, and the changes to our body and our lives. This club is also very time-consuming and energy-draining. It makes untold demands upon us and we never quite know what we’ll have to do next to fulfil its terms and conditions.

But the positive sides of being in this club are the people we meet, and the things we learn about ourselves and about those around us. And who can overlook its ‘free gifts’ – acts of thoughtfulness and kindness by others; the blessed peacefulness of aromatherapy; or the renewed appreciation of the good things in our lives? We find a courage, perseverance and resilience we never knew we had.

We may have a life-long membership, but sometimes our membership runs out and the club expels us. Despite wanting to return to ‘normality’, we might always consider ourselves honorary members – it takes a long time to get this club out of our system.


  1. This is so true – I’ve entered a completely new world since I was diagnosed. I realise I do look on people in 2 categories now – those with cancer (in the club) and those without it. I’m looking forward to leaving the ‘club’

  2. Pat from Partington says:

    Wonderful write-up. Having been in this club myself, these words mean a lot to me. By the way, love the website.

  3. PPS from Urmston says:

    Whoever wrote this piece has a real understanding of what the club is all about. As someone who has been there, I found it very moving, it brought a tear to my eye and a lump to my throat.

    As for the website, I’m impressed, very easy to use and very informative.

  4. hilary dawson says:

    As someone who joined the club many years ago, without the support of your caring workers, I can only imagine how reassuring it must be to be able to share the membership with people who know what you’re going through and who have the knowledge, time and patience to help. It’s a wonderful job you are doing! Yes website is interesting and very user-friendly

  5. I was also a member of the club which was rather like a badge I had to wear that no-one could actually see. It is true that it is a life long membership one of which I am immensely proud as I gained a deeper insight of my diagnosis and my journey picked up many good friends along the way. The support, love and care I received at the Macmillan Centre was invaluable. All the caring people who work there do so for a reason, they care and are dedicated. Thank you so much to all of you, particularly my wonderful Counsellor and supportive Care worker.

    Love the website, well designed and full of information. The Newsletter is excellent, so much information. Keep up the excellent work!

  6. The Centre really recognised me as an individual and provided the ongoing support I needed at the time. Hoping I’ve now left the club, but know I can carry on using the strategies and strength I gained from the centre

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