Ian’s cancer journey began in July 2019, when he started feeling constantly tired and thirsty. He expected to be diagnosed with diabetes.
But instead blood tests revealed that he had prostate cancer. A biopsy was performed, followed swiftly by the removal of his prostate. The operation revealed that the cancer was only in the prostate and, luckily, hadn’t spread.
Ian made a good recovery from the operation, but then in 2020 his Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) rate rose with each test. Scans revealed that he had cancer in his prostate area and, as a result, Ian commenced radiotherapy treatment in Spring 2021.
He is now in remission and recovering. In August 2021, Ian took part in Brave the Shave and raised over £400 for cancer.
Here, Ian talks about his experience taking part in facilitated weekly Cancer Coach group sessions, which he completed in September 2021.
“I saw the Cancer Coach support groups advertised on Facebook and thought that it would be a good idea to take part. I was feeling rather isolated and wanted to share my experience with other people who had undergone cancer treatment.
“Most of my worries were when I was having treatment, but there’s no point in worrying – the cancer might come back tomorrow or it might not. I had treatment this year because it had returned.
“So I take each day as it comes. I have lots of friends and family who have supported me throughout, which has been a great help.
“Our coach Chris was good at letting us just chat, but he also steered us to the weekly topic and was encouraging, too.
“One of the best things about the course was learning relaxation and breathing techniques, which I found useful. I also kept a diary, which helped me, as I had fatigue midway through the programme, so I was quite up and down.
“It will be a little while before I get my energy back, so I take each day as it comes. I do things and then have a ten minute rest.
“Overall, I found it helpful to share my cancer experience with people who had different cancers. After all, we were still on the same journey and it was good to be able to offer encouragement to others.
“We discussed what was happening to us and a common thread was that we were all glad to still be alive. We agreed that we were better off than some of the other people who had cancer.
“Everyone had undergone treatment and knew what it felt like, which is a shared bond.
“It is in some ways a life changing experience and there are permanent differences as a result of surgery and treatment.
“I would recommend Cancer Coach support groups to anyone who would like to share their experience with others and to be helped with their recovery. The programme helped me feel more confident about the future and provided me with a good opportunity to review my cancer journey.”
Cancer Coach is available free for anyone over the age of 18 who has completed treatment for cancer, regardless of whether they finished treatment a few months ago, or a few years ago. Participants can be based anywhere in the UK.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Cancer Coach, please submit an application to join a group and a member of Cancer Support UK will be in touch. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 020 3983 7616