J’s story is about her ongoing journey through cancer treatment.
After having a feeling of food getting stuck in her throat and a sense of indigestion she’s advised to take indigestion tablets, but a similar feeling continues and she ends up at A&E with an endoscopy, there are no symptoms of cancer but does have a pain between her shoulders. Following ten biopsies she’s given the news at the end of February of oesophageal cancer, which means chemotherapy and surgery to determine the best way forward.
There is a small sense of relief in knowing.
Different cancers have a slightly different types of Chemotherapy treatment and hair loss is a common side effect.
She discovers Maggie’s Charity as a space for advice and activities such as rehab classes to get fit for chemotherapy, and ‘look good feel good’ for your mental health as well as physical appearance.
Takes time to raise money during the Jubilee for the charity.
Chemotherapy is 6 hours a day, she was the youngest there. Only on the third visit do conversations develop with a realisation that some people are offered different support options, outside of the NHS, to support them. Macmillan offer extra money for wig vouchers, Wirral CIC’s offers include exercise classes.
‘Some people miss out on wider support, not only for them but for their loved ones too. Not through anyone’s fault, but just for a lack of knowing’.
The immediate future will bring a larger operation, one which she’s preparing for. She’s doing a diary everyday and plans to write a book about her experiences and the help that is out there beyond the NHS.
Don’t suffer in silence
I know J’s wish is for people not to suffer in silence, and for the information regarding options for support to be readily available.
It’s difficult to know how to react to her ongoing story. I’m full of admiration for her courage, and her desire to tell others that there is help.
I look forward to seeing the book.
Don’t suffer in silence.
Song response to J’s story
‘Oh Maggie’ is a song reflecting on the themes and thoughts of what Maggie’s meant to J.
J received support through the following organisations. Her desire is that people don’t suffer in silence. If you’re suffering from cancer you can find some support through these organisations:
Maggie’s is a charity providing free cancer support and information in centres across the UK and online.
One Wirral want to build healthier and more resilient communities by ensuring people have equal access to services that make their lives better, including those that go further than providing medical services alone.
Macmillan do whatever it takes to give people the support they need.
Fancy joining in?
Everyone has a story to tell. Everyone’s story is valuable.
Share some stories from your life with a view to encouraging others by sharing the ups and downs of your journey, with opportunities to join in with some creative responses if you want to!