Finding out you have cancer is a shock, not just for you but for your family and friends. We all know someone who has suffered from the disease or has been effected by it.
When I was told I had breast cancer I was numb, I didn’t cry, but I saw the people around me upset. I think I was in a state of shock and with months of treatment ahead I knew I had to stay strong. I surrounded myself with the people I loved. They were my rocks and friends from far and away came to visit me, I was overwhelmed to have such caring people in my life. Their love and care kept me going. Everyone thought I was strong but I cannot tell you how much I thought I needed to get on with things, not only for me but for everyone around me too so we could all get back to normality.
Treatment, going to the sterile hospital every day and abrasive treatments effected me more than I thought. I was always a happy person who loved life, travelling and spending time with the people I loved. It sounds cliché but I never really appreciated how much my family and friends meant to me until cancer affected me. All throughout the treatment I kept exercising, whether it was yoga, barre or going for long walks. I have always exercised but I now realise how vital it is not only for your body but your mind too.
I wanted to write this blog as I come across families effected by cancer all the time in my everyday life. At the end of my treatment I broke, felt anxious, weepy and not myself at all. I found it difficult balancing my work and I couldn’t sit and engage in conversations with my family or friends. I was always so sociable before.
I also want to tell you about another rock in my life, Maggie’s and Karen Verrill in particular who helped me when I felt this way. You may wonder why this has taken me a while to write but I now feel I can write this and within the last few weeks I have reccomended Maggie’s and encouraged people who are suffering or trying to stay strong for others to go for support. All I ask is that you please share this and if you know people who have been effected please share this with them and encourage them to visit Maggie’s.
Karen Verrill at Maggie’s Newcastle
I couldn’t have got through what I did with the help of Karen, a breast cancer nurse turned head of Maggie’s Newcastle centre. Karen works above and beyond to support people who have cancer and their families. Karen said I would never be the same person I was and she was right, I am now a better and more stronger person than I once was. I feel lucky enough to have met Karen and to have stayed friends with her and to continue having her in my life. She is worthy of much more recognition than she gets.
‘Maggie Keswick Jencks lived with advanced cancer for two years. During this time she used her knowledge and experience to create a blueprint for a new type of care. Maggie’s centres are built around her belief that people should not lose the joy of living in the fear of dying.’ Maggies Centres
I denied going to Maggies (a centre for people and their loved ones affected by cancer) as I thought I should just get on with things even though I didn’t feel like ‘me.’ I eventually went to see the cancer support specialist and had ten sessions with her. My body may have been cured in a few months but my mind took even longer. An escape from the sterile hospital environment, Maggie’s is so warm and a place you can go for support, escape from the hospital or a cup of tea and a friendly chat.
Maggies provide free practical, emotional and social support to people with cancer and their family and friends.
To find your nearest Maggies centre please click here…
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