More excerpts from the Writing for Fun course……

“I arrive at the Centre. What will I find? My daughter needs support so I have come to discuss it. I don’t think I need help for myself but am nervous and sad and frustrated that my illness is affecting my family. I walk in – a friendly foyer with – always a great sign – a book case! The colours are relaxing; the large lounge with deep blue chairs seems to invite me in. I feel at home immediately. “Would you like a drink?” Nothing is too much trouble. I feel supported here – people understand. After finding out Continue Reading …

A Client’s Story….

A client’s story………… The phone rang, and it was Jayne from The Macmillan Wellbeing Centre, offering me a place on the ‘Writing for Fun’ course. I always feel quite anxious and nervous when I start something new as I feel I don’t cope well in unknown social situations and have a lack of confidence. Following the first session and being given tasks for homework (including ‘free-writing on anything that came into my head), I found myself looking forward to the following week. The group was small and we had one connecting factor. I feel the course has helped me onto Continue Reading …

One for the Boys…….

‘ONE FOR THE BOYS’ We have recently held a ‘men-only’ event at the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre – ‘One for the Boys’. We all know that dealing with a diagnosis of a life-limiting illness, and all that follows, can be an overwhelming, frightening, exhausting, and sometimes lonely experience – for the person who is ill and also for those who care about them.  Men often feel they need to be the strong ones and usually keep quiet about how they are really feeling.  Some don’t ‘do emotions’,  and stress can build up – making what they’re going through even harder.  Men Continue Reading …

Hope…..

Baroness Tessa Jowell recently spoke in the House of Lords about her diagnosis of a brain tumour. “On 24 May last year, I got into a taxi but couldn’t speak. I had two powerful seizures. I was taken to hospital. Two days later, I was told that I had a brain tumour, glioblastoma multiforme.” Her treatment began shortly afterwards. She went on to say, “Today is not about politics but patients: patients and the community of carers who love and support them….. It’s about better-informed judgements by patients and doctors. And it is about sharing access to more and better Continue Reading …

The Boat…..

A ‘Body Stories’ workshop was recently held at the Centre, to support women in coping with the changes to their bodies that cancer and its’ treatment bring. The following story was used to illustrate some of the difficulties we face after cancer, using an analogy of a boat in a storm to represent what can happen to our body. It was taken from: The Cancer Survivor’s Companion: Practical ways to cope with your feelings after cancer  by Lucy Atkins,‎ Dr Frances Goodhart ‘For most of the time you sail along in your boat (body) weathering both the expected and unanticipated storms that Continue Reading …

As Christmas approaches…….

At the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre we try to support people through the highs and lows of cancer and its treatment. As Christmas, Hanukkah and other religious and secular festivals approach, we know it can be a difficult time for those experiencing cancer first hand or have a loved one going through it. Many of us associate events such as Christmas with seeing family and friends, parties and lots of eating and drinking. It is a time of celebration. Having to face difficult decisions, treatments and uncertainty, while the world around you is enjoying the festive season, can be very hard. Emotions— Continue Reading …

And for Carers…….

And for Carers…. The team at the Macmillan Wellbeing Centre recognise that carers (partners, family or close friends) benefit from support when someone close to them is diagnosed with cancer.  Serious illness has the potential to cause many distressing emotions and thoughts – for the person diagnosed and for those who care about them. Research shows that carers frequently disregard their own needs, and their distress / stress can often be overlooked. The Centre provides a listening ear, opportunities to mix with other carers, supportive groups and individual therapies – all aimed at helping carers to cope. However, attending these Continue Reading …

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 Continue Reading …

‘Scanxiety’

Cancer ‘Scanxiety’ Is a Real (and Terrifying) Thing I recently came across a word new to me, ‘Scanxiety’, on a medical website. It describes cancer patients’ fear and worry associated with scans, both before, and after, waiting for the results. It seems that doctors in general do not fully understand the distress caused by this repeated ordeal that patients go through. Would you agree that, until you’ve had cancer, you cannot possibly get the full extent of what goes through the mind of someone waiting for a scan or scan results? Because our very future depends on those results… those Continue Reading …

The Numbers

Recent figures show that 50% of people diagnosed with cancer in the UK now survive for 10 years or more.  Cancer survival is improving and has doubled in the last 40 years.  People are living 10 times longer after their diagnosis than 40 years ago.  This is really great news for a disease that used to be considered an automatic death sentence.  This is no longer so – the numbers speak for themselves! But my next thought on reading this was, ‘Which side of the 50% statistic will I be on?’. And it struck me that, for someone who wasn’t Continue Reading …