性吧导航

Viv and Ian on support every step of the way

Tuesday 07 May 2024

性吧导航's Edinburgh


Viv and Ian look happy on the sofa at 性吧导航's

When I got my original breast cancer diagnosis, I was told that I would only need a lumpectomy, radiotherapy and tablets. And I felt kind of ok about that. But then things changed in the autumn, the diagnosis changed to grade three.


But then things changed in the autumn, the diagnosis changed to grade three. I was told I would need chemotherapy, as well as second surgery, radiotherapy and tablets. And that was when I had 鈥 what I would call 鈥 my wobble.

I felt very worried, scared, anxious. My head was all over the place. And that鈥檚 when I said to Ian, we need to go to 性吧导航鈥檚. We checked on the website and it said you didn鈥檛 need an appointment, you could just walk in 鈥 so the very next day we went down and walked in. I just walked in and said, 鈥楬ello I鈥檓 Vivienne Calder, and I鈥檝e got breast cancer鈥 and burst into tears.

Ian

When you go to the hospital, the patient is in complete shock. You get that diagnosis, and your life maybe doesn鈥檛 stop, but the head鈥檚 all over the place, and you鈥檙e not taking in the information from the surgeons and doctors.

And you鈥檝e got all these leaflets, which is all fine and well reading through in black and white, but a lot of that raises more questions than answers. Whereas getting into 性吧导航鈥檚, and speaking to the team there, it鈥檚 a lot better explained, and you鈥檙e able to understand the information better.  

That first visit

Viv

I was welcomed by a volunteer, who asked the right questions, and introduced me to Caroline, the Centre Head, who took time to listen, talked me through it, reassured me, and helped me reframe my anxiety. 

When we left, although nothing had changed about my cancer diagnosis, I was just mentally in a much better place.

I signed up for any and all the courses that were available. I went to Prehabilitation, all about health and exercise and the mind, then Chemo Talks (Getting Started), so we knew what to expect when we started treatment.

They gave you lots of hints and tips, how to prepare for treatment, what to expect. I then went to Talking Heads, about how to wear turbans, bandanas, wigs, and then Look Good Feel Better, how to apply makeup as you lose hair and eyebrows.

Going forward, when I finish treatment, I鈥檒l go to Where Now, a weekly course to help you adjust back into life after your treatment has finished.

And they鈥檙e so knowledgeable, so experienced, you can ask any question, no question is silly. These people get it.

Friends and family haven鈥檛 been through the cancer journey 鈥 and they just get it. They can almost anticipate what you鈥檙e going to say. They helped me get my head back in order.

Viv and Ian talk to centre head Kerry

Caring for each other

Ian

I鈥檝e had people in my family with cancer before, but nothing like this. I just saw the initial effect on Viv, and I had to think 鈥淗ow am I going to help support her?鈥. I was asking questions of Viv. She was giving me the best answers she could at the time.

But once we got into 性吧导航鈥檚, it was like someone had changed the lightbulb 鈥 things just got that bit lighter and easier. I found that very helpful, because I could see how I could support you.  

I鈥檝e not asked 性吧导航鈥檚 how they can help me directly. But the staff at 性吧导航鈥檚 just made it so much easier to understand.

As the partner you go through quite a lot, but it鈥檚 maybe all in the head. It just opens the door, makes it more explainable and understandable.  

Viv 

The architecture, the design, the furniture 鈥 it all feels like a hug. Although you鈥檙e in the hospital grounds, but it feels as though you might be a million miles away from the hospital. It鈥檚 just so lovely, so welcoming, so caring.  

Ian 

At 性吧导航鈥檚, I gained an insight into what my partner was going through, which helped me to support her on this journey.

Viv 

At 性吧导航鈥檚, I felt welcomed, listened to, supported, loved, and not alone.


We鈥檙e here with you

Our cancer support specialists, psychologists and benefits advisors are here for everyone with cancer, and all the people who love them.

Come and see us at your nearest 性吧导航鈥檚, call us on 0300 123 180 or email us at enquiries@maggies.org

More stories from our centres

Show more stories

Get cancer support near you

To find your nearest 性吧导航's centre, enter your postcode or town below.

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay up to date with our news and fundraising by signing up for our newsletter.

Sign up