Diane on support from a Specialist Physiotherapist

Physio Clare examines Diane's arm in a treatment room.
Physio Clare examines Diane's arm in a treatment room.

When Diane met Macmillan Specialist Physiotherapist, Clare, they worked together to relieve some of the pain Diane was experiencing after treatment for breast cancer.

Diane was given exercises to do in her own time, and after very pragmatic sessions with Clare, felt inspired to be more active.

Diane's story

To me you don't put cancer and physiotherapy together. You have so many leaflets about side effects, about what might happen and not all of them do, I'm testament to that. But you do read and think, God, I'm gonna get all this, but not once did I read anywhere that said, if you get this, you can do that, so it just wouldn't have occurred to me to think of physiotherapy. I think when you're going through treatment for cancer you do very much think, well, it's a side effect, I'm going get that. You think it's all bad and a lot of it isn't gonna be able to be put right.

I got a little Macmillan card with Clare's number on so gave her a ring. Straight away she said, 'Come this Friday,' so it was really quick. I went to my local hospital and actually I think she made a special journey to come to see me, which was really sweet because at the time, I was still going through my, 'I hate going out, I hate being anywhere' stage, so it was a big deal and I think that's perhaps a reason why I initially put it off. I'd just think, I don't wanna go out, I don't wanna be in public, I'm looking dreadful. So I went along, met up with her and straight away she just sort of ran her fingers down the pain and I cannot tell you how good that felt because I'd probably been living with this for a few months and you just get used to pain. For somebody to just come along and just run their fingers down and relieve that pain, it was just bliss.

I'd also got this shoulder pain that although was getting better, she worked on as well because I mentioned, 'Well, there's this and there's this,' and she really did relieve it. Also, I think it was a mental thing: because she's quite active and I used to be, seeing her really inspired me to be the person I once was. At that point I think I'd gone so deep into myself thinking, I'm never gonna get out of this pit completely. She's just got such a bubbly personality and we talked about the cancer and I did say to her, 'I'm frightened.' I could be really honest and open with her and she was very supportive. You don't always meet positive people on this path, sometimes people will go, 'Oh,' and sometimes you don't want that, you need somebody to go, 'Hey, you know what? Look at where you were, and look at where you are now, and look at where you're going.' I think Clare was very good at that, she said: 'OK, you're here now but you need to be here.' I very much look to the positive and she was brilliant for that.