Rebecca was diagnosed with a brain tumour when she was just 26, after collapsing suddenly at the airport. Her treatment plan was brutal and she endured surgery, radiotherapy, fertility preservation and then chemotherapy.
Support from family and friends helped Rebecca through this tough time. But like so many other people who survive cancer, Rebecca found that she was really struggling when her treatment finished.
“The diagnosis and treatment isn’t the hard part, it’s what comes after – never feeling safe again. You lose your peace of mind, and no amount of clear scans give it back.”
Once Rebecca’s treatment ended, everyone expected her to go back to her old self. It didn’t happen. Everything had changed. After one-to-one counselling, Rebecca realised that she needed to talk to people who had experienced cancer themselves, but she couldn’t face walking into a support group.
Thankfully, Rebecca stumbled on Cancer Support UK, and found that our Cancer Coach support groups were perfect for her. The groups got together over the phone and sessions were in the evening, so Rebecca didn’t have to take time off work. All our groups are run by a trained Cancer Coach who also has experience of cancer, and Rebecca found she bonded with the everyone really quickly.
The six-week-long Cancer Coach course has led to Rebecca and her group learning and accepting many things.
“The group was a safe space for us to deal with things that we had to learn to live with – to accept that we needed to grieve and that everything we were feeling was ok.”
After getting so much out of her Cancer Coach support group, Rebecca wants to give something back. She’s training to become a Cancer Coach herself and hopes to help other people who find themselves struggling to cope with the shock of life after cancer.