Suzanne’s Story………

My name is Suzanne and I am 47 years old. I was diagnosed with Mucoepidermoid Carcinoma in 2013 after waiting 6 months for test results to come back. I had a cancerous tumour growing in a saliva gland just in front of my ear. I was told the surgery I needed meant I would end up with severe facial disfigurement and maybe the loss of my ear and hearing.

I was devastated. I had 12 hours of surgery to remove the tumour, losing part of my cheekbone and jawbone, but was very happy to still have most of my ear and hearing.

This was the most awful thing I have been through in my life. Although I have had serious health problems since the age of 14, I found this time it was not just the treatment – the surgery – it was my mind that seemed to take over and put me in a bad place. I lost a lot of confidence, was nervous, and death was on my mind a lot of the time. I resisted going to sleep because every time I shut my eyes I thought I was going to die.

Eventually, months later, I was referred by my speech therapist to The Macmillan Wellbeing Centre. I have a wonderful family and very supportive friends, but I just needed this extra bit of something. Coming to the centre, chatting to other people, finding out about things I was entitled to, and attending the courses on offer, has been a fantastic help to me. I am calmer, more confident, and able to put things into perspective. I am sorry I did not know about the centre sooner. I am back at work now as a receptionist and coming to the centre has been a fantastic help to me.

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