Macmillan Cancer Information & Support – Help Offered

The Centre is staffed by a Macmillan Information & Support Specialist with the help of trained volunteers, some with a personal experience of cancer.

 

  • We provide literature on all aspects of living with cancer which is also available in different formats, eg.DVD, tapes, large print etc.
  • Internet access to guide people to appropriate information resources
  • Access to a private room where people can speak to someone in confidence
  • Counselling support from a trained counsellor
  • Access to a benefits advisor
  • Home Visits
  • Complementary Therapy
  • Referrals to the Stop Smoking Team
  • Outreach sessions promotion the service and supporting Public Health by being aware of early signs and symptoms.

To help you understand the range of information and support available within the service, we have listed some of the questions we have helped with:

 

Worried about Cancer

  • My cousin had breast cancer when she was sixty, could I also get it when I am 60?
  • I have read in the news that stress can increase your risk of getting cancer is this true?
  • What are the signs and symptoms to watch out for with bowel cancer?
  • My daughter has been learning about cancer at school and wants to know more as her Grandad has bowel cancer, where can we look for further information?
  • My friend had lung cancer a year ago and it has made me want to rethink my lifestyle can you give me any information on how to stop smoking?

 

Living with cancer

Every experience of cancer is unique, but there are medical issues and emotions that many people share.  Some people describe their experience of cancer as being like a journey.  It is both a medical journey through treatment and an emotional journey through living with the uncertainties that cancer brings.  When dealing with cancer you may have many questions, we hope to answer those questions and allay any fears you may have.  We do this by providing emotional support, information and signposting you to other services.

 

The kind of questions we have been only too happy to help answer include:

  • I have been told my hair will fall out with my Chemotherapy treatment -How do I get a wig?
  • Will I always feel so tired?
  • I’ve been asked to go on a clinical trial but I don’t really understand the information I was given; can you help?
  • Will complementary therapies make me feel better and do I need to pay for this?
  • My relative doesn’t want to know anything at all about their cancer or treatment. Can I still find out as much as I would like to know?
  • I don’t qualify for benefits, but I’m struggling financially. Are there any other sources of funding?
  • Who can help me cope with my feelings? I don’t want to burden my family with my worries
  • How can I explain my diagnosis to the kids?
  • My family doesn’t understand my treatment, and I’m not explaining it very well. Can someone help us all understand it better?
  • I have prostrate cancer and would like to speak with other men who are going through a similar experience, is there anywhere locally that can help?
  • I am a carer of someone with cancer, what information and support is available for me?
  • I want to go on holiday but am having trouble getting any insurance can you help?

 

Survivors of cancer

Surviving cancer is all about living with the longer term emotional and physical effects of a cancer diagnosis.  Relationship problems and financial difficulties are common effects of surviving cancer.  The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service is here to help answer any questions people may have about the long term effects of surviving cancer. Listed below are just some of questions we have answered for other cancer survivors.

 

  • I finished treatment for breast cancer a year ago and am having trouble putting the washing out.  How can I help myself?
  • I had cancer as a teenager I am in a long term relationship, can I get pregnant and should I take precautions?
  • I had cancer 5 years ago and am now going through the menopause, I have heard that I maybe more likely to get osteoporosis?  What should I do?
  • Since having testicular cancer a year ago I now want to try and give up smoking can you help?

 

Bereavement

Though no two experiences of grief are the same, there are some common experiences that many people will share.  The Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Service can provide you with practical suggestions to help patients and their families get through this difficult time.  We can help to answer any questions or concerns they have and provide information on how to plan for a funeral, probate, contacting insurance companies, assist in accessing practical and financial support if needed.  We can also direct you to other services in your area that you may be able to access via your GP.

 

  • My husband died six weeks ago, now that everyone has gone home I feel alone and isolated what support can I get?
  • I have been caring for my wife with cancer for two years, she recently died and I don’t know what to do now, my life seems so empty, what should I do next
  • My close friend that I have known since we were at school has recently died of cancer sometimes I feel so sad when I think about them, is this normal?
  • My partner of six years has died, they were in debt and I am being asked to pay this; what should I do? 

 

Financial help

Although your finances may not be the first thing on your mind after finding out you have cancer, there may well be changes to your lifestyle which could mean changes in you or your family’s finances. Macmillan cancer support provides a range of information for patients and carers. Please visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website for more information.

 

The government can offer various forms of financial help to patients and their carers.  Macmillan cancer support has produced a guide titled “Help with the cost of cancer” Macmillan has also produced a range of materials relating to financial issues for those with cancer and their families. The titles are as follows:

  • Financial planning
  • Income
  • State benefits and support
  • Spending
  • Everyday money
  • Savings and investments
  • Borrowings
  • Pensions
  • Insurance
  • Sorting out your affairs
  • Advice and complaints