A patient has spoken of how the team of professionals at the Cancer Wellbeing Service at Peterborough City Hospital, helped her through the most difficult time in her life.
Sharon Donnelly, 53, from Orton Malbourne, was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2015 and felt desperately low, both physically and mentally. Now after undergoing a double mastectomy and ongoing treatment Sharon is in a much better place thanks to the support of the team.
She said: “It took a lot of nerve and courage to walk into the centre and ask for some help, but it has enabled me to reach the point of having a light at the end of a dark tunnel. My health is complicated and cancer had a devastating effect on my whole physical and mental health, but with their support I have learnt how to cope with family and friends, my all round health and getting back to ‘normality’.”
Sharon is just one of many visitors to benefit from over 20 support services that the team of professionals offer. These range from emotional support, therapeutic art, Nordic walking, and advice regarding fatigue, work and managing symptoms. The centre is open for anyone affected by cancer to drop in, without a referral.
She was recommended to visit the Cancer Wellbeing Service and found speaking to someone neutral, who wasn’t a friend or family member, helped her to focus on something else that wasn’t cancer.
Sharon continues: “The therapy sessions are fantastic and the most wonderful experience in my life that stood out for me was attending a drop-in therapeutic art session, walking down a corridor and hearing such laughter and conversations from people that have such a devastating illness to contend with. I will never forget that moment.
“The Cancer Wellbeing Service offers help beyond the cancer treatment and ongoing support for the patients and families too. I wish I had known about the support sooner, I wouldn’t have struggled so much.”
To find out more about the Cancer Wellbeing Service please visit our webpage www.nwangliaft.nhs.uk/a-z-of-services/c/cancer-services/ or contact the team on 01733 678570.
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