Lucy’s Cancer Coach Story
Lucy was diagnosed with a melanoma in her eye following a routine optician’s appointment. They noticed a small bruise in the white of her eye and referred her for further testing. After her positive diagnosis the decision was made to remove her eye.
“Having right-sided blindness as a result of my cancer has had a huge impact on my life and has caused quite a few problems. I find it difficult to judge distance and depth, and socially distancing is really challenging.”
Adapting to life following cancer can be extremely difficult, especially if there are long-term physical effects to deal with. Even in the years after you have finished treatment and are cancer-free, there may be times where you feel worried, confused or overwhelmed. This was something Lucy experienced, saying:
“After four years, people stop making a fuss of you. It becomes normal life and you’re stuck with the diagnosis and not much support.”
Lucy found some information about Cancer Support UK’s Cancer Coach service and got in touch to find out more. Initially, she felt apprehensive about attending the video calls with three or four other people for six weeks, as she worried that speaking about cancer might be a bit depressing.
“It was absolutely amazing. Other people who have gone through the same things know how you feel. As soon as I joined the meetings I felt relaxed and bonded with the other people in the group straight away.”
Cancer Coach support groups by Cancer Support UK are for people who have finished their cancer treatment and need someone to speak to. The groups are split into weekly sessions over 6 weeks and are carried out free of charge by telephone or over a video call. Each group is facilitated by a trained Cancer Coach who introduces the group, offers support and structures the conversation.
In the Cancer Coach groups, you’ll get to know one another as well as learn about methods and techniques to improve wellbeing and reduce anxiety. Whilst by no means required, in Lucy’s case, she has kept in touch with her group for ongoing support and friendship. She said:
“I wouldn’t hesitate to do it again because it’s made such a difference. I’d recommend Cancer Coach to anybody who’s feeling a bit isolated with their situation and wants to talk about it. You don’t always want to feel like a burden to your family and friends who haven’t had cancer – sometimes they don’t really understand.”
Cancer Coach is 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. To participate in a Cancer Coach support group, sign up here.