The medical team that advised me on my course of cancer treatment, and saw me through the surgery, freely admitted that they were there to deal with the physical side of things, they couldn’t help me with the emotional side of it all. For that they recommended I go along to a local cancer support center.
Initially I really didn’t like the thought of walking in to a room full of strangers and talking about how I was feeling. That was the last thing I wanted to do. It wasn’t until after one rather distressing doctor’s appointment that I found myself knocking on their door, walking in, bursting in to tears and saying “I think they’ve broken me, mentally.”
In a nutshell, it’s for that reason that the support centers are there. Run by volunteers who have had experience of cancer or who have cared, or know someone who has had cancer, they can totally relate to how you are feeling. To me, they are the 4th emergency service. Without their support, care and understanding my world would have been a very bleak place indeed.
They are a wealth of information about everything to do with cancer and the effects the treatment has on every aspect of your life, offering advice and complementary therapies to help you through it all. You don’t need to make an appointment either, you simply turn up. To me, it’s quite simply, sanctuary.
If you are coming to terms with your diagnosis I would definitely encourage you to seek out a cancer support center near you. The work they do is absolutely priceless and I for one don’t think I can ever thank them enough for everything they have done for me and still continue to do.