A service user describes what the Trustís support means to her:
"On the last of my treatments having completed six sessions of chemo therapy and three weeks of radiotherapy I was pleased to be at the end of a difficult time as I'd been ill for most of my treatments, resulting in stays in hospital. My family was delighted treatment was completed, but I felt a tad empty, I'd relied on my treatment plan to get me through and hadn't spoken about my feelings in finding out I'd had cancer in the beginning. I work for the council who suggested during my phased return to work I use their counselling service. Although this was a good option, I felt I would benefit from counselling that focused mainly on my experience with cancer. I'd heard of the Sara Lee Trust running at the Hospice during my treatment, but hadn't been well enough to think about what they were offering. I decided to contact Kerry and ask if I could use their counselling service, at the same time I was offered different treatments and I decided to attend the massage with natural oils.
Attending the counselling session I thought I had little to say, as I'd coped reasonably well during my treatment. But through talking things through I realized my coping skills weren't the same as others in my family and I was shutting people out to protect them, but also not wanting to make a big deal out of things. The short of it was I didn't want family and friends to worry. After talking through my coping strategies, I was able to have an open conversation with my mum and hear how she was feeling. I've been attending monthly appointments (appointments have been led by me). I found the counselling a great help with returning to work and with the death of another cancer patient.
I've also received massage with natural oils, on my first treatment the therapist shared I was very tight in my muscles, this we worked out was due to my past experiences during treatment, anyone coming close usually meant something painful was about to happen so I'd become accustomed to bracing myself. Through massage treatments I'm relaxing.
The Sanctuary Days have been so rewarding. I didn't think I needed to talk but being with others going through Cancer has really helped. Listening to other peopleís journeys has been inspirational. Practical tools from reading material, dietary ideas (I'm now juicing daily, well nearly every day. Also learning that its ok to not do things if you feel like a day off!)
I've met some amazing people along the way and with my new outgoing head that says its ok to say I'll give that a go, I'm heading off to Powdermill Woods to see what Natural Rhythms has to offer.
I'm very grateful to everyone involved in the Sara Lee Trust."