Wendy on receiving emotional support

Wendy was diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2015. She had treatment and surgery, which left her with speech and mobility difficulties. She is now supported by the Macmillan Psycho-Oncology Service.

‘I’ve always been a people person – I've worked in customer services all my life, so talking to people is a massive thing for me. But now I have problems with my speech. Sometimes I slur my words, and I can only talk for a short period of time. It really affected my confidence.

'I also struggled with fatigue, which made it very hard to go back to work. I’ve always worked hard, and am a high achiever, so to have my career taken away from me is really difficult. I’m still figuring out what I can do now.

'I’ve also got limited movement in my neck, which makes little things like crossing the road really difficult. When you’re told you have cancer, they don’t tell you what to expect when treatment finishes. It’s had a huge effect on me – it affects everything from your relationships to your finances.’

Macmillan Clinical Psychologist, Dr Sanchia Biswas, has been helping Wendy to rebuild her confidence. The Macmillan Psycho-Oncology Service at King’s Mill Hospital helps people to cope with the emotional and psychological effects of cancer.

‘Sanchia has been wonderful. It’s like having a friend who understands. I can tell her exactly how I’m feeling, she’s really helped me. When you’re going through treatment, you’re in a little bubble with all these health professionals around you. And then suddenly it finishes, and you find yourself alone with no one to talk to.

'I was feeling really low, so one of the nurses put me in touch with Sanchia. She’s been helping me to set goals – just little things, like leaving the house to meet a friend, or doing some voluntary work. They are small steps, but I’m going in the right direction.’

Sanchia has been wonderful. It’s like having a friend who understands.

Wendy, diagnosed with head and neck cancer