15 April 2015
Beatrice with her 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 emergency surgery. A routine mammogram had shown a lump in her breast. Further tests revealed that Beatrice had a particularly aggressive form of cancer. Surgery and radiotherapy left the Lurgan civil servant suffering from chronic fatigue: ‘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 signed up for the Hope programme. The six-week course, which is run by Macmillan in Northern Ireland, offers a chance to meet other people recovering from cancer and share experiences. In fact, HOPE stands for ‘helping overcome problems effectively’.
Not totally convinced, Beatrice decided to ‘give it a go’ anyway:
‘I’m not into self help jargon but that’s not what this was about. 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 local Macmillan Information Centre. I wanted to give up smoking. I wanted to be in control of my recovery. And now I am.’
Macmillan runs regular Hope courses in Northern Ireland. To register your interest, or to find out more, please contact Julie Hill via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone our Belfast office on 028 9070 8610.