Thank you for supporting people with cancer

Louise's Cancer Coach Story

Louise, 55, was diagnosed with breast and lymph node cancer in 2020, following her biopsy. She had felt worried about her biopsy and felt that she would not be receiving good news, saying:

“Three words changed my life from that moment forward and my rollercoaster ride with cancer began. I had really mixed emotions.”

She had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy over a seven month period during the COVID-19 pandemic. Louise lived alone and was shielding throughout her treatment, though grateful that her treatment was continuing to take place.

Once her treatment ended she found the lack of support she had in her life to talk about cancer and treatment overwhelming. Her results showed that her tumours were gone, but she was finding it difficult to come to terms with the lack of routine, support and advice that she had become familiar with during treatment. She said:

“No longer having the routine of appointments, I felt really cut off and it hit me hard. It felt a bit like falling off a cliff, and being sent out into the world alone. Cancer never leaves you and you have to learn how to live with the emotional and physical damage it’s caused.”

Louise found Cancer Support UK, and the Cancer Coach programme. Cancer Coach is our free support group programme for anyone who has completed their physical cancer treatment. Held over the phone and online video, groups are run by trained facilitators and take place once a week for 6 weeks.

She found that the sessions really benefitted her wellbeing, and is thankful for the support she received on her recovery journey.

“I would absolutely recommend the Cancer Coach programme. It makes you feel as though you’re not alone. Even though the weekly sessions have finished, I’m still in touch with my group and I find their support really encouraging. With the help of the facilitator, everyone managed to have their say – sometimes we talked about cancer, sometimes other things.”

Inspired by the time and support that she received from her facilitator as part of the Cancer Coach programme, Louise intends to volunteer herself, so that she can start to give back to others who are in the same position she once was.