Melanie talks about getting emotional support from Macmillan

Published: 01 December 2022
Melanie has lived experience of cancer and has gone through the pathway of psychological services support with Macmillan.

Meet Melanie

Here's my story. I got my cancer diagnosis in 2021 and at that time I was already struggling right in the middle of covid. I was terrified that coronavirus would come into the house but cancer came instead.

I got my cancer diagnosis and the ride to eventually reach the decision I came to - which was to have a single mastectomy was a real turbulent one. My emotions were all over the place. It was very stressful in the home. Everything around it was heightened anxiety and fear.

A lady wearing glasses talks about emotional support.

"You can't take the fear away from anyone who has got a cancer diagnosis."

I have my mastectomy, and everything went smoothly. But I get home and I am low mood, I am low energy. I have my son to care for and I am ill myself.

There was covid going on and so there's nobody around to help. There's nobody visiting and no words of comfort. I was desperately trying to do anything I could, whether it was meditation or relaxation methods. I didn't know a way out to make myself feel better.

I just felt more and more isolated and low. There were some really dark times went through my head. A few months after the operation, I got all clear and felt lucky, but you don't know how to live with this news. I got a phone call from Macmillan and I was sat in this chair when that call came into my home.

"That phone call was like a huge, big hug down that line"

I will never forget it; I will never forget how I felt. I will never be able to thank you enough. You gave me hope and you asked me what I needed. I had a huge carrier bag full of leaflets but I could not get the energy or the motivation to read those.

You asked me did I need financial help and you asked me so many things. It was like getting the best gift I could ever ask for.

With that was the opportunity to have counselling and I knew I needed it. I couldn't find my way out of this darkness.

I went in there crying my eyes out and the counsellor listened. We had a session every week and it felt good. It was a relief as she helped me to slow my head down and stop catastrophizing.

I still use the techniques today and I tell my friends. I am a real advocate. I will never be able to thank you all enough. I can smile again; I am not always worried. I still have uncertainty about cancer, but I can manage it and live in the here and now.

We are here for you

Cancer comes with many hidden costs. But Macmillan is here to support you. You may find these resources helpful: