and Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service at The Whittington Hospital
As a three-time cancer survivor, I know the havoc this one little word can wreak on a person’s life and emotions. I cannot even begin to explain how difficult the journey has been because even when you “beat cancer,” you still have a long way to go to heal physically and emotionally.
During all of my treatments, I’ve leaned into the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service. They are with you every step of the way and provide you with your own dedicated nurse to support you and your family. From doctor’s appointments to filling out the many, daunting forms to support groups (which I highly recommend), they support the entire cancer journey.
As a young woman, I stand in the mirror and look at myself and just feel broken. My back has so many scars due to the radiotherapy reactions I had. I have spots, rashes, and burns—you name it. I stare at the scars on my breast trying to find beauty, I feel the rage of my hormones all over the place, I see where hair should be along my hairline—but after years isn’t— and I see the lasting impact cancer has had on me.
But, slowly—day by day—I am accepting that my scars don’t define me. Rather than the evidence of pain or a wound, they now point to the very place where my body has healed. Pause at that for a moment—every scar IS a place where our body has healed NOT where it is currently broken. My current brokenness doesn’t mean that I’m unloveable or eternally broken, it means I’m in the prime position to heal. I can only heal from here.
During my cancer battle, I had so many side effects, including…
changes in appetite
But now I look at it and see that maybe each side effect was my body’s unique language…its way of communicating what I needed or didn’t need. Its way to purge.. to rest.. or to heal in the only way it could. I’ve learned to engage my body on this journey not to hate it. I’ve learned to look at it as my companion and say, “what do we need today?” “How can I love you better today?”
Cancer is a terrible disease and most of us have felt its impact whether directly or indirectly through a family member or friend.
Recently, I lost a dear friend and mentor to cancer and this was so painful for me because despite knowing that her cancer was terminal, it still hurts that she is gone. Her death made me so angry and I was filled with all sorts of emotions. I feel like I am still only in phase one of grief (we will discuss grief in detail in another topic soon).
During her chemo sessions, we would sit and talk. I would read to her or we would just sit silently. All the time we spent together, she spoke about giving back to the community. She was an advocate for the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service at The Whittington Hospital and was involved in their events. Our last Macmillan Cancer Research event at the hospital, I promised her that I would continue to support this community so that we can help educate people about all the good they do so they can do more good.
I want to continue being that small voice who is encouraging in the middle of all of the worry and confusion that we go through while battling this terrible disease because believe you me— I am still living in the confusion and the aftermath.
So here I am…keeping that promise to my dear friend. If you haven’t heard of the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service at The Whittington Hospital, please do check them out. They were a beacon of light in my own cancer journey and if you are currently undergoing cancer, they may be that beacon of light in yours to.
To learn more and support the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service at The Whittington Hospital through the work they do with Macmillan Cancer Research please click the link below.
Learn More About Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service at The Whittington Hospital
More community topics to come soon…
Until next time,
I hope reading my personal Cancer journey blog has been helpful to you!
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