Macmillan has been a central part of my care from the very outset.
My Macmillan nurse, Wendy, has been with me for every step of the journey. She was with me at the point of diagnosis and she came and saw me on a regular basis while I was in hospital.
I cannot state enough how brilliant Wendy is. She provides me, and all of her patients, with an exceptional standard of care. She’s so kind, so positive and she’s very good at listening. Whatever problem you have, she always has an answer or some suggestion for how we could tackle it. She was a huge help to my family.
She is also extremely active in terms of raising awareness and helping us to live well with our cancers. Last October she organised a Lymphoma specific patient education conference providing us with practical advice on how to improve our general health and wellbeing.
Whereas the NHS focuses on your illness and how to treat it, Macmillan really helps you adjust the rest of your life to your diagnosis.
For example, when I lost my hair, I was unsure what that was going to be like and I had a look at the stories and the experiences on the Macmillan website.
They have some brilliant forums where you can get some understanding of other patients’ experiences and see for real that you’re really not alone in your journey.
The Macmillan centre at my hospital was really useful. It provided a quiet and welcoming space to have free tea and coffee while I was waiting for appointments. It offered me financial advice – they put me in touch with the local Citizens Advice Bureau.
Somebody said to me the other day, your life must be a living hell. And actually that couldn’t be further from the truth. Yeah, I’ve been through some very testing times, but I have an immense support network. Both in terms of my family and friends and also in terms of the people who are supporting me in the NHS and in Macmillan.
I feel like I’ve not been doing this alone.