On the Friday morning when I went to see my consultant I came out of the office feeling a little bit bemused, still feeling puzzled and perplexed… and on my way out of the cancer consultant’s office, I walked past the Macmillan centre.
I just walked straight in and I just said to the lady sitting there, ‘I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer, my whole world has come to an end, I don’t know what to do, I don’t know what this word means. I don’t know anything about cancer, what do I do? Where do I start? Help me.’
And she sat down and she was really, really patient with me. She held my hand, and she found some information and she was just really calm. And she sat with me and did some deep breathing exercises with me. Made me a cup of tea and just told me to take one day at a time.
Just being able to click on to a website, or pick up a telephone or, or go into a hospital Macmillan centre and find a booklet, it was the most helpful, the most empowering experience. First of all I could get advice by ringing up the Macmillan Support Line which was brilliant. I also joined the Macmillan Online Community, which was a brilliant source of information. So when I’m at home in my own time, without any pressure from anyone, I could log on and take part in discussions about ovarian cancer, uterine cancer, about treatments, about side effects, about different tips to deal with cancer. To deal with blood tests, to deal with some of the physical aspects and some of the emotional aspects of having cancer and that was just brilliant.
And they were there for me, because I was talking to them about all sorts of things. Heating, benefits, side effects of treatment, fundraising, local groups in my area which I could join.