HelgaMany of us at the SECHC have known that dreadful moment when the consultant looks over his glasses and hits you with the shattering news of your cancer. There is a blur of information and instinctive denial surely this only happens to other people, not to healthy me! Then comes the flood of fear as grim reality dawns. How will I cope with surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy? What will it mean for me, my family and my future? Do I even have one?

In the end, I survived it all though it was a tough and debilitating battle, fought with the love and support of a caring husband and true friends, towers of strength when I really needed them. One of the hardest aspects for me was losing my hair. Just when I was at an all-time low, I glanced in the mirror and recoiled at how sexless and ugly I looked. Just when I should have been feeling happy that I was alive, I was plunged into gloom by the stranger staring back at me. And the inevitable question was will I ever look the same again?

But healing did eventually come, and hope slowly returned. My husband decided to retire early to make sure that we spent quality time together while we could. We started Rock & Roll dancing classes, and are planning more travelling to explore this country and abroad.
Right from the start of my recovery, the Cancer Centre was a wonderful source of support and inspiration. It gave me opportunities and interests, which I would not normally have taken up, such as singing and painting, steps on the way to a brighter future. I have benefitted from new interests and new friends who have been through the same mill, giving new prospects for our post-cancer life.