Penny Brohn UK

Help change life with cancer. For good

Lucy’s story

Lucy’s life changed forever when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was inspired and empowered by the Bristol Whole Life Approach.

"I’ve always been a believer in holistic healthcare, so felt incredibly lucky to have the Centre on my doorstep. I’d driven past the sign hundreds of times, but now I was going to really know what Penny Brohn UK was about."

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Life as I knew it changed when I heard the words I wasn’t expecting to hear – ‘you have breast cancer’. It was May 2012, I was 31 years old and led a healthy, full and busy life. Surely this doesn’t happen to young people.

I told myself it was all going to be fine. I was scared, but remember thinking that in a year, after a lot of horrible treatment, I’d be back to normal and getting on with life. I was hopeful and naïve, I didn’t know anyone who’d had cancer or cancer treatment, so didn’t know anything about the world I was about to enter.

Almost immediately, the brilliant, but slightly overwhelming NHS roller coaster kicked in, which included oncologist, surgical and fertility appointments, scans, biopsies, blood tests, etc.

Then, almost a week after diagnosis I was told the devastating news that the cancer had metastasised and already spread to my bones, liver and lungs – this was a game-changer. All I can remember from that day was hearing my oncologist repeatedly say: ‘do you understand how serious this is? Do you understand how serious this is?’

My breast care nurse mentioned Penny Brohn UK to me. I’ve always been a believer in holistic healthcare, so felt incredibly lucky to have the Centre on my doorstep. I’d driven past the sign hundreds of times, but now I was going to really know what Penny Brohn UK was about.

I’ve been living with breast cancer for a few years now and can’t begin to describe how helpful and supportive Penny Brohn UK has been. At my initial one-to-one session with a GP, we went through the Bristol Whole Life Approach. It was like music to my ears after the hospital experiences. The Approach was inspiring, empowering and resonated with me on so many levels. It gave me the strength to make decisions about my lifestyle and have some control of my wellbeing. I’ve always approached my cancer care with one-foot firmly in the conventional and the other firmly in the holistic – not one or the other. Penny Brohn has allowed me to do this in a supportive non-judgmental way, and I feel so lucky to have a professional service that offers this option so close to home.

Since my first trip to Penny Brohn UK, I have used so many of their services. I’ve taken part in the Living Well and Approach courses. Both have helped me mentally, emotionally and physically and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone affected by cancer. I’ve also had one-on-one nutritional support, which was a great way to get my head around diet and nutrition. On top of all the courses and services, the Centre is a relaxing retreat with beautiful gardens, peaceful spaces and a café serving delicious and nutritious food. I’m very grateful for this service and so pleased it exists.

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