Support for cancer patients after treatment

Posted: October 12, 2016

Help to live well with and beyond a cancer diagnosis

While some may see their last session of chemotherapy or radiotherapy, or even the all clear from a doctor, as the end of cancer, many more struggle to slip back into everyday life once treatment is over.
 
And with cancer treatment often taking a long and aggressive form, the whole experience can leave a lasting impact on a person's physical, mental, social and even financial wellbeing. 
 
The annual Living Well event, jointly hosted by Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Macmillan, helps people left tired and vulnerable from their cancer journey rebuild the skills and confidence needed to return to the life they knew pre-diagnosis.
 
Taking place on Friday 14 October, the event brings cancer experts from the Great Western Hospital and local support groups together under one roof to help people living with and beyond cancer maintain a happy and healthy life.

Help is always available  

Karen Brown, Deputy Lead Cancer Nurse, said: "While it's clearly fantastic to say that more people are surviving cancer, our care now has to adapt to ensure that patients continue to feel supported after their treatment.
 
"The way the body and mind respond to cancer and its treatment is never straight forward. Patients will often need support to manage the physical changes and also reassurance that it's OK to not let cancer dominate their thoughts.
 
"The reason for holding this event is to show local people that help is always available and that readjusting to normal life is a goal that's not only realistic but completely achievable."
 
Tony Batchelor, 67, from Devizes, attended a previous Living Well day after completing his first round of chemotherapy.
 
He said: "Being able to talk openly about the things I was experiencing with others in a similar position was really comforting as it made me realise I wasn't alone.

A big thing made easier  

"After chemotherapy, I couldn't get over the fatigue and, as someone who had bags of energy before, it frustrated me that I was no longer able to do the simple things I had done previously.
 
"Learning to accept that I wasn't going to be the same straight away was a big thing for me but it was made easier by attending the Living Well day."

Guests coming along will hear top tips and guidance on subjects such as how to regain a healthy diet and how best to prepare for a return to work, as well as learning about the benefits of staying active.
 
Anyone whose life has been affected by cancer is encouraged to attend the open-door event between 9.30am and 4.15pm.
 
For more information on living well with and beyond cancer, go to www.nhs.uk and search for life after cancer.

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