15 May 2015
Beatrice and dog Poppie
Cancer free, 56-year-old Beatrice Ferguson is feeling confident about her future and making some big changes in her life.
This time last year, she was undergoing surgery. A routine mammogram had shown a lump in her breast. A course of radiotherapy left the Lurgan civil servant suffering from chronic fatigue: ‘I had no energy and couldn’t concentrate on anything. My friends and family were very supportive but, once my treatment was over, they were expecting me to get back into my normal routine. I just couldn’t. Cancer had knocked me for six.’ Beatrice was keen to be part of the Transforming Cancer Follow Up programme. She says having a cancer care review at her local GP practice means she’s not sitting worrying and waiting for a six-monthly or yearly routine hospital review appointment to come around. In the meantime, she knows what signs to look out for which could indicate her cancer had come back and knows who to contact with any concerns.
What worried Beatrice most was work, which was why she was advised to consider signing up for a course for cancer patients. She decided to give it a go.
‘I’m not into self help jargon or anything like that. This was different. It gave me a chance to work through things in my head.’
‘I suddenly realised that, whilst I wanted to carry on working, I didn’t have to go back to my old stressful job. I wanted to volunteer and help in the Macmillan Information Centre. I wanted to give up smoking. I wanted to be in control of my recovery. And now I am.’