The Sara Lee Trust Therapy Month, which takes place every March, was launched to help raise awareness of how therapy and counselling can improve lives by having a positive impact on health and well-being.
Trust supporter and volunteer Jo, tells us how important her therapy treatments were at a very difficult time in her life.
"Hi Iím Jo. I was diagnosed with Grade 2 ductal adenocarcinoma (breast cancer) in October 2015. Needless to say, my life changed from that moment on. In 2016, I began my four months of Chemotherapy, followed by 3 weeks of Radiotherapy. Going through Chemo was the hardest part of the cancer journey. I suffered from nausea, and effects from taking steroids, as well as aggravated back pain. Following treatment I will be on medication for up to 10 years.
I was waiting for my first chemotherapy appointment when I saw a leaflet about the Sara Lee Trust. After a referral from the Breast Care nurses, I was introduced to the Trust, whom I had learnt were a charity that support people with cancer and life-threatening illnesses in Hastings and Rother.
I was anxious initially before I attended my initial session of aromatherapy massage with the Trust, but was put at ease straightaway with the therapistsí friendly, calm, yet professional approach. She listened and was a support through such a dark time. I felt so relaxed during the sessions and would have been happy for them to have continued for longer each time. It was great to get some time just for me, where I could switch off from everything that was happening, even if it was for just that short period of time. I always came out of my sessions feeling calm, relaxed and somewhat tranquil, ready to take on the next part of each cycle. It helped ease the back pain that I had been experiencing too. It gave me something to look forward to.
Following my cancer journey, I now volunteer as Chair of their Service User Group and in their shop. Knowing I can help towards giving others the support and treatment that I myself had benefitted from, in such a terrifying stage of my life, feels so worthwhile.
There is no doubt in my mind of the impact of the support of the Sara Lee Trust has had in my life since having cancer. I will always be grateful to them. Knowing that I have a good support network through family, friends, colleagues and groups like the Sara Lee Trust, I know this will help me continue to face whatever journey life ahead may bring.
Thank you for being there the Sara Lee Trust. You truly were, and still are, a hand to hold during such a difficult time of my life!"
If you would like to try a therapy treatment this March and support the Sara Lee Trust, please see our Therapy Month page.