More people are surviving cancer than ever before, however, the impact of having cancer doesn’t always stop when clinical treatment ends. Many people experience feelings of anxiety, depression, low confidence and self-esteem but with the right help can go on to live rewarding and fulfilling lives beyond cancer. We caught up with Yvonne who in her own words is now “thriving as a cancer survivor”.
“In 2016, aged 46, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I was shocked but tried to remain positive. I felt lucky when my consultant told me that I might not need chemotherapy so I could still go to work during treatment and not lose my hair to dreaded chemo. However, when my biopsy results showed a more aggressive cancer involving surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, my life was turned upside down and I felt more scared than I had ever felt in my life. My consultant and the nurses were absolutely fantastic, it was a tough time and they supported me so much through it all.
While going through treatment as an inpatient I also received support from the Beatson Cancer Charity Wellbeing Team who gave me tips on how to ease my anxiety and help me sleep, techniques I still use to this day and the Reflexology and Reiki treatments made me feel so relaxed during my chemotherapy treatment I now understand how important it is to take time for myself.
After my treatment finished, I realised I would have to go back to work even although I felt at my worst both mentally and physically. I put myself under so much pressure to return to work and I was so worried I would be expected to return. Luckily, I found out about your Specialist Health and Work Service and after one phone call, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I found out that I didn’t need to return to work until I was ready to and I had time to recover.
Whether it was attending meetings with me or a simple chat, the team really helped me every step of the way. I can’t explain how much it helped providing information to my employer so they could understand what I was going through, which helped them to support me. I also really benefitted from the support of a psychologist who helped me manage my stress and anxiety levels. I am so grateful for all the help I received which gave me confidence and a feeling of self- worth enabling me to re-enter my place of work with dignity and hope for the future.
Beatson Cancer Charity has been a lifeline for me, I couldn’t have got through this journey without all their support. If it wasn’t for the fantastic services on offer, I would not have felt able to return to work and would be suffering from anxiety and depression.”
Find out more information about our Specialist Health and Work Service or complete a contact form. Call them for more work-related issues Mon-Fri 9am- 4.30pm on 0141 212 0505.