Sarah’s breast cancer story – “life after treatment is harder than I thought.”

Sarah was treated for stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer

Sarah received treatment for stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer

Cancer Coach helped Sarah cope with the crippling fear of her cancer returning and to move forwards with her life

In July 2019,Sarah was diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer. The prognosis came as a big shock to her, as she had seen her GP with almost no symptoms.

“I still remember my first words, “I don’t want to leave my babies”. My girls were 15 and 17 at the time. I cried so much. Telling them was the hardest thing ever.”

Everyone expected me to go back to normal after cancer

Sarah didn’t realise how difficult life after treatment would be. “Whatever the outcome of treatment, the fear that cancer is still lurking is ever present. I was completely unprepared for living with that fear.

“Most people think that when treatment is finished, that’s it – you’re normal again. The offers of help dried up and I felt that I was expected to go back to normal.”

Someone she knew posted about her experience of Cancer Coach in a Facebook group they were both in and Samantha decided to apply to join.

Sarah celebrating the end of her treatment

Sarah celebrating the end of her treatment

Cancer Coach helped Sarah deal with difficult emotions post treatment

Cancer Coach Support groups are for people who have finished their cancer treatment and who need support to tackle the emotional challenges of post-treatment life.

The groups are split into weekly sessions held over six weeks and are carried out free of charge by telephone or online. Each group is facilitated by an experienced Cancer Coach who introduces the group, offers support and structures the conversation.

“Cancer Coach was great. The facilitator hit exactly the right note in all the sessions and managed the different personalities in the group really well.

Coping with the grief that comes with cancer

“I liked the fact that there was a strong focus on accepting and managing the fear and sense of loss (grief) that accompanies cancer. I found the workbook guided elements and the exercises really useful. I still refer to the booklet at least a few times a month.

“If I start to notice negativity creeping into my thoughts or I have a particularly tearful day, reading that booklet again helps me regain my emotional balance.

“It was wonderful to have the opportunity to talk about my experience and to hear others talk about theirs. To transfer a traumatic event into the past, you first need to talk about it and then to process it.

Talking to others who understand the cancer experience is vital

“It was good to have regular contact with people who “get the cancer experience.” Who understand what it is like to sit in a room and to be told you have cancer. Who know first-hand the fear that you will not be around to see your children grow up. This human contact was essential, especially during Covid.”

Cancer Coach, our free cancer support groups held online or over the phone, might be just what you need if you are struggling with your emotions post treatment

If you’re not feeling quite how you expected after completing cancer treatment, you might benefit from joining one of our free Cancer Coach groups.

They take place every week for six weeks either online or over the phone, allowing you to take part from the comfort of your own home anywhere in the UK.

When you join a Cancer Coach group, you’ll meet other participants who are just like you. They’ve all had cancer, and are now trying to move forwards with life, but need some help working through their emotions.

Expert cancer coaches to support you

Cancer Coach support groups are facilitated by our expert Cancer Coaches. Together you’ll explore new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving, which will help you as you recover post cancer treatment.

Cancer Coach is for any one aged 18 or over, who has completed physical treatment for a primary cancer diagnosis (stage 1-3).

So, if you think Cancer Coach is right for you, click here to sign-up and join a group.