Saturday, 10 September 2011

Therapy and its Benefits

I remember the day of my diagnosis too well the first person I saw was a Macmillan nurse. I did not instantly connect to this woman, but she was there if I needed her. There were numerous calls she checking on me and I chasing my results from biopsies. Yet I remained trapped with the silent tears I cried whilst everyone else slept soundly at home. These tears I know were slowly swallowing me up inside. I was a robot, very automated and underneath it all I was very isolated from my family. The fact my husband instantly shot me down when I wanted to talk added to my confused state of mind.

Then out of all that darkness was one piece of advice which was a saving grace. Why don’t you visit The Maggie Centre. Although I’m very relaxed about talking I was not sure I would be able to relax in this type of atmosphere. Maggie’s and its home from home set up is a place where you can do exactly that i.e RELAX. It is a retreat, a place where you can chat or simply sit silently and listen. They offer advice on benefits and finding a route where the stress is eased financially as well a range of therapies. It is all PVT and without the burden of cost attached.

My first visit I found myself chatting with the organiser of the centre. Who advised me to try the massage to help me relax? I was nervous and not really sure if I would return after our little chat, but I did. At first I did not want to take up their time especially when someone else needed it more. So I only went to the centre when I had an appointment with my Plastic Surgeon Mr H.

Then one of the other visitors to the centre told me about a therapy that would appeal to me. Art Therapy... It concentrates on relaxation and you could choose whatever you want to do. You do not have to be Van Gogh to join. This was my type of therapy with no restrictions. You just turn up and find a seat whether it be in the group or sat on your own.

Now I have made this my diary must for every Friday morning when my young daughter is at school. Even when I get a phone call from a friend to go for a coffee I instantly say no. My friend did find it amusing when I said I was going to art therapy classes. But I am not going to shy away from something that relaxes me.

Therapy is not all talk; it is about finding a comfort zone where you feel relaxed with the stess minimised. The Maggie Cancer Caring Centres cater for those who are lost in treatment and appointments that seem never ending. They act like a hand coming out of a fog that is so dense to start with it over whelms you. It is about you making sense of the situation and finding a smile or even laughter amongst friends. It also welcomes family members and friends who act as carers. It is a crying shame that only seven of these centres are complete and running in the UK. I think it is about time the goverment recognises the importance of these centres and the important service they provide to cancer patients. To me more should be done to create more centres like the one I visit.

Check my links page for more information on other services provided for cancer patients.


  1. I joined an art therapy class at my local cancer support centre when I was having chemotherapy - it brought up a lot of things for perfectionism for one!

  2. Hi Marie,

    I think there is a perfectionist in each of us.. Some people will play it safe and stick to what they know and improve on it.. Or like me some like a challenge and will go out of the secure box and have a go at something that normally we would say no too.. I make mistakes, but hey it is all about what your comfortable with.. Like I keep saying everyone can dance it's just we are frighten of being judged..