Want to get your life back on track after cancer treatment
Posted on: 23/05/2018
Bolton residents living with and beyond cancer can benefit from a free Macmillan course to help them get their lives back on track after treatment.
Macmillan Cancer Support’s Information and Support Service in Bolton has run three HOPE (help overcome problems effectively) courses and is inviting people to sign up for the next programme, which starts in June.
Susan Hanley, from Farnworth, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma – the fifth most common cancer in the UK – at Christmas 2016. The 67-year-old underwent a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy throughout 2017, was successfully treated and has been cancer-free since late last year.
However, Susan, who has a daughter and three grandchildren, and still works as a management accountant, struggled with feelings of isolation and a lack of confidence when her treatment ended.
She reveals how the HOPE course helped get her life back on track, as well as making new friends, saying: “During my cancer treatment it felt like I was the epicentre of everyone - family, friends and healthcare professionals, who were all there for me. But when my treatment ended, although the support is still there, I felt a little isolated and on precipice wondering ‘what do I do now’.
“Fortunately, the Macmillan team in Bolton suggested I try the HOPE course, which is one of the best things I’ve ever done. It teaches you strategies for dealing with your feelings and emotions, as well as lots of practical advice. But you also meet lots of people in the same position as you, who you can share experiences with, and many of whom have now become friends, which is a really positive experience.
“The HOPE course has given me back my self-esteem, given me a positive outlook and the confidence to start making plans for the future. Macmillan are always there for you, and provide a safety net whenever you need them, but the HOPE course helps you manage, and get on with, your life for yourself. I’d recommend anyone who is living with and beyond cancer to just do the HOPE course, it could change your life for the better.”
The HOPE course supports people to rediscover their strengths, manage the day-to-day impact of cancer and make the most of the positive things in life.
HOPE is made up of weekly group-based sessions, each lasting 2.5 hours, which run for six weeks. They are led by the team from the Bolton Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service, along with volunteers who have been affected by cancer.
During the sessions, topics that will be covered include: setting goals, managing stress, identifying strengths, healthy lifestyles, becoming more positive, changes to your body and fear of cancer returning.
Sue Summerfield, Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service Manager, one of the facilitators of the course, adds: “Cancer is the toughest fight most of us will ever face. But people don’t have to go through it alone. The new course, HOPE, is delivered in a friendly, helpful and informative way, and aims to help the people taking part to feel happier, more confident, motivated and positive about the future.”
The course, which was developed by Macmillan Cancer Support and Coventry University, is due to start on Monday, 4th June, 2018, and it will be held at Giles House, 43 Chorley New Rd, Bolton.
For more information, or if you’d like to attend, please contact the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service on 01204 663059. Courses usually run from January to March, June to July and September to October.