The Macmillan centre became my sanctuary
Local resident, Caroline Gurney, believes that the support she had from Macmillan helped her recovery from a rare form of cancer. Here she tells her story:
“It’s piles, I was told. In fact, it was anal cancer and it was hard to talk about, as people can be squeamish.
Coping on my own
“We were living in Portsmouth and Nick, my husband, had just got a new job in Bristol, so to start with I was at home alone during the week. Added to that, my father died and my son dropped out of university. I found it hard to cope and I felt like having cancer changed society's attitude to me overnight. Something as simple as getting travel insurance became a nightmare. I was treated like a person with a death sentence.
Help at hand
“So when I found the team at Macmillan Information and Support Centre at the hospital where I was having treatment it was a huge relief. It made such a difference to my quality of life and to coping with practical issues during and after treatment. They were so welcoming; the Macmillan centre became my sanctuary. Once I started going to the support group there I didn’t want to miss a week; they became friends.
“I also found talking to the nurses on the Macmillan Support Line really helpful, and knowing they are there as a back up is great. Talking to people on Macmillan’s online community also helps – we can support each other.
“It made such a difference to my quality of life”
“I've learned to live with the ‘new normal’ of post cancer fatigue, vitamin deficiencies, bowel spasms and the quite severe pain. It's not all doom and gloom though. I was well enough to go to London to be with my daughter and her husband for the birth of my first grandchild and I have begun a new career as a professional genealogist. Even when confined to bed, I have a very active life online, doing genealogy research and blogging.
“If anyone’s diagnosed with cancer, they really should get in touch with their local team. The NHS is brilliant, but with cancer you need all the support you can get – and so do your loved ones. And that’s what Macmillan is there for.”