Clare on being a Macmillan Specialist Physiotherapist
Clare is a Macmillan Specialist Physiotherapist. She helps people by reducing the pain caused by cancer and its treatment. Through her work, she sees an improvement in both the physical and mental well-being of her patients.
'A lot of people come to me and when I say, 'Actually I can help with that,' they're really surprised.'
My job involves getting people back on their feet after cancer treatment. I try to get people back to work and back to their hobbies, particularly helping around pain and getting people strong again from a muscular point of view.
I also do a lot around increasing people's confidence and helping them to achieve things that they didn’t think were possible. Physiotherapists can actually give people back their identity, give them back the empowerment to be who they really want to be and achieve what they want despite a lot of the side effects they’re having. When somebody walks out of my door and they give me a hug and they smile, just makes my day.
What I’m trying to do is promote the role we have and be more accessible to people so that if somebody has got an issue, they haven’t got to go back to their GP, they haven’t got to go back to the nurse or consultant, they can actually take control of their own body. I don’t see what I do as special, I just have that knowledge and I want to share that as much as I can to help more people.
There’s not a great understanding of how physiotherapy can help. A lot of people come to me and when I say, 'Actually I can help with that,' they're really surprised because they think that a lot of the side effects they have following treatment is something they’ve got to live with for the rest of their lives so it’s really great to be able to say, 'Actually you know I can change that and I can help you.'
Macmillan have recognised that people now live longer following cancer diagnosis with all the treatments that are happening, but what they’ve also recognised - with their research and through feedback from patients - is that they’re not living well.
As a Specialist Physiotherapist I can enable people to regain that quality of life, ensuring they fulfil their maximum potential and return to whatever activities they may wish to following a cancer diagnosis. I am honoured to be a part of someone's life at such a difficult time, and to be able in some way to make it better.
Are you a person living with cancer?
We have more information about support at home after leaving hospital. You can also speak with your GP about physiotherapy services near you.