My relationship with Lara suffered initially after the diagnosis, and we slowly moved further and further apart as we buried our fears to a certain degree. Psychological support really helped bring us back together and helped me understand what Lara was going through.
I think we were drifting apart because I felt like I was sinking under the water. I felt like I was putting my hand up to Lara in a boat above the water, but she was withdrawing her hand because she felt that if I got hold of her, I would drag her in and we would both drown. Marilyn helped me understand that Lara felt she was already in the water and going under herself.
Because things were so difficult at home with our relationship getting trickier by the day, Lara wanted some support. She went to see the GP and the GP recommended Macmillan.
Lara left a message with Macmillan and in the next couple of days a Macmillan nurse came round. The nurse asked me if we were getting psychological support and we said no, but we would like some. She sorted that out and within the space of a week Marilyn arrived.
Marilyn, our Macmillan clinical psychologist, came and gave us some psychological support. She’s an incredible person: understanding, caring, direct.
She was able to help me see a clear way forwards and approach things in small steps. She encouraged me to look only at the next step and not the tenth step, because it was difficult to see that far ahead.
The help Marilyn gave us, as a family, was fundamental in helping us keep together through our difficult times. I think our relationship would have fragmented and broken so much more than it did. Who knows what could have happened, but things were getting really difficult.
Marilyn’s support helped me understand that it was okay to feel bad, to feel alone, to feel angry and irritated sometimes. But she helped me realise that I wouldn't necessarily feel like that forever. I would be able to pull myself out of that situation and stay positive.