I am a Cancer Voice.
Cancer voices is a network of people, hosted by Macmillan, who all have one thing in common. All people in the network have been or are affected by cancer.
I have helped in various ways and wanted to share my Cancer Voice experience this week.
Helping People Take Control (HPTC)
I was lucky enough to visit the Macmillan HQ (which is next to MI6!!!) yesterday to take part in the all day session. HPTC is one of Macmillans sub strategies. They have six in total and are running sessions like this to gain insight and produce plans to ensure that the strands are included into the 2015 main strategy. We were separated into four tables with approx five people on each for discussions where we had to think about and share our stories on the following themes:
- End of life
There were people in the room who fell into each category. I put myself in category 3 although I reworded it to ‘Survivorship/Post treatment’.
I was on a table with two other ladies who were patients. One had a rare Cancer too so for once I didn’t feel like the spare part. We held frank discussions around each of the stages and talked about what our lives were like throughout each one. I created a visual timeline to talk through and it certainly brought back lots of memories of everything I have been through.
We also held discussions around Supported Self Management and what we feel someone on a Cancer journey would need. Throughout ALL sessions, these common themes came to light:
It’s so important that people have the right support network from family/friends and professionals. Cancer is a life changing experience. Not only for those with the illness, but for those who live it with you. The husbands, the wives, the mums & dads, the brothers & sisters, the kids, the families, carers, neighbours & friends. It changes us all, in different ways. Some people get through it and some people part ways – this doesn’t mean you’ve failed but that it wasn’t meant to be. With the help and support of charities such as Macmillan, people don’t have to face cancer alone.
Keeping things normal!!! Yes, people like normality. We don’t care if you think it’s boring….any conversation is better than talking about appointments, cannulas, chemo, sickness, fatig….zzzzzz sorry fell asleep there!
A good employer is essential. It’s hard enough fighting for your life, chuck fighting for your job into the mix and it can be soul destroying. Macmillan run training sessions to help Employers and line managers. Click here to view the options.
I am so pleased that I was selected to take part in the day and I know I’ve contributed to an extremely important part of Macmillans focuses for the year. Plus, I had a cracking view!
Click here to find out more or become a Cancer voice.