How you cope with your diagnosis and treatment will be specific to you. You may expect to feel relief once your hospital-based treatment ends but this is not always the case and it can be a difficult and emotional time.
Following treatment, you may have time to reflect on the impact of your diagnosis. It is completely normal to have a mixture of emotions if you are living with or affected by cancer. There are a lot of support services available to help you through. It is important to remember you are not alone.
You may benefit from:
- talking to friends and family
- communicating with others in the same situation
- talking therapies and counselling
- moving forward courses
- local support groups
- health and wellbeing events.
Talking about cancer
It can be difficult to tell people you have cancer, however talking to your closest friends and family can make you feel more supported and reassured that the feelings you may be experiencing are normal.
Everyone you tell may have a different reaction and it is important to be prepared for this. Some will be keen to support you but this may not always be the case as some people may find the conversation difficult and uncomfortable. This may be through lack of experience, fearing your reaction or they may go into denial.
It can also help to talk to people who also have cancer as they may have a better understanding of what you are going through.
Online support – you can get support on the internet via online support groups, social networking sites, forums, chat rooms and blogs for people who are affected by cancer.
Macmillan Cancer Support – Online community
For information about counselling services
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy
If you are feeling depressed or need to speak to someone immediately, please contact Samaritans 116 123
If you are struggling with how you are feeling emotionally, it is important to speak to your GP or your cancer care team, they will be able to provide you information on the treatments and support available to you.
Cancer support groups
Cancer support groups are a great way to meet people who understand what you might be feeling following your diagnosis of cancer. They provide a safe place for you to talk about what matters to you. You do not have to share if you do not feel comfortable, but a support group may help you to feel less isolated.
Some groups are specific to a certain type of cancer, while others are open to people affected by any type of cancer.
The Living Tree is a self-help support group for people who have experienced cancer and for their families and carers. The group is based in Bridport and is open to any cancer patients from West Dorset, East Devon and South Somerset.
There are a number of cancer support groups across Wessex. Ask your cancer support worker, or you can search for them on the Cancer Care Map
If you cannot find what you are looking for please contact us and we can try to help you.
For more information about cancer support groups:
Macmillan Telephone Buddies
Going through cancer can be an isolating experience, especially if you’re social distancing. The free Telephone Buddies service from Macmillan Cancer Support is here for you. It offers a weekly call from a volunteer buddy who is trained to understand what you’re going through. They’ll be a listening ear, ready to talk about how you’re feeling and your support needs during this difficult time.
They can also let you know about our other services, and all the ways Macmillan can help, so you don’t have to face cancer alone.
For more information about how to sign up online or by phone, please click on the link below:
Visit our events page to find out what’s going on near you. There are online information sessions about living with cancer, as well as links to fundraising ideas.