Macmillan Cancer Support is encouraging anyone affected by cancer in Gloucestershire to talk more openly about the emotional effects of cancer and to seek the support they need.
As part of Cancer Talk Week from 22 to 29 January 2018, Macmillan wants to encourage people living with any type of cancer to seek emotional support at any point they might need it; whether that might be at diagnosis, during treatment or once they have been discharged.
Cancer patient Victoria Newland from Churchdown in Gloucestershire was diagnosed with breast cancer in September 2016 and after chemotherapy, surgery and radiotherapy, she self-referred to the Macmillan Next Steps Cancer Rehabilitation project in June last year. “It was just fantastic. I had finished my main treatment and it’s only then you have time to take stock and breathe. All your thought processes had been dealing with the here and now for so long. Then when it goes quiet at end of radiotherapy and you’re not running to appointments – you’re done.
“Then your mind starts to drift. I felt down and felt a heavy burden. Then a friend who’d had cancer told me about Next Steps as she had been helped by the project. The project staff took the time to listen to me and what I needed. For example, I went to the HOPE course where I met a group of people feeling the same and the relief of understanding what was happening to me and evolving strategies to get myself back on track was so powerful.
‘I’ve also benefited from the physical activity sessions and advice that will help me move forward and do my best to stop cancer recurring. Cancer, for me, does wear you down and Next Steps has provided the toolkit to put myself back together again. The programme is genuinely fantastic.”
The Next Steps project, which has so far helped more than 500 patients, is part of a wider programme of improving cancer care in the county involving Macmillan, Gloucestershire Care Services NHS Trust, NHS Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group and Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Delivered by Gloucestershire Care Services, it comprises a team of dedicated health professionals who provide one to one support and a suite of group support and education programmes and workshops to give patients knowledge, skills and confidence to encourage self-management and adopt healthy lifestyles, positive health and physical activity. This is backed by a learning and development programme to increase health and social care professionals’ confidence, communication and awareness of the rehabilitation and support needs of people living with and beyond cancer.
Macmillan encourages anyone affected by cancer who wants to support someone they know, whether they are a family member, friend, colleague or carer, to seek emotional support from a Macmillan support specialist.
If you would like to find out more about the Macmillan Cancer Information and Support service in your area, please visit www.macmillan.org.uk/inyourarea
The Macmillan Support Line is open 9am to 8pm Monday to Friday and can be reached on 0808 808 0000. The dedicated support line staff can talk through any concerns and signpost to the nearest information and support centre.
You can also find out more about the Macmillan mobile information and support service on our big green buses that visit towns and cities across the UK at www.macmillan.org.uk/mobileinfo.
22 January 2018