Over the next six months I had eight more sessions of chemotherapy. The chemotherapy was a different type and caused a number of side effects which were different from the side effects I had experienced during the first course.
During my radiotherapy treatment I had an appointment with Bev, the Penny Brohn Well Being Consultant. After months of feeling like just a patient number and date of birth; Bev made me feel like a human again. I hadn’t heard of Penny Brohn UK before but Bev explained the ideas behind relaxation, meditation, acupuncture, reflexology and how to live well after cancer. Immediately I loved the supportive nature of the charity and how it supports lifestyle changes but ones that work for the individual and there is no pressure that something is right or wrong.
Bev worked very closely with Barbara the GenesisCare Breast Care Nurse and between them they helped build up my confidence. Barbara was there to support my clinical needs and queries whilst Bev was there for my holistic needs.
Bev supported me throughout my treatment. My feet really suffered from the chemotherapy and Bev was really helpful in caring for them. I developed Lymphodema and was quite upset as well as annoyed at the development. Bev was so supportive and gently provided information about the condition, helping me to accept it and realise that it wasn’t my fault.
I also had acupuncture and practised meditation to help me deal with hot flushes and aching limbs; all side-effects from the chemotherapy and hormone treatments. I’m not the most relaxed person but the meditation has helped be to become more relaxed. Since having cancer I have been more open minded about trying things that could help me and the acupuncture and meditation have made a difference.
Bev and Barbara organise coffee mornings for ladies from the Breast Cancer clinic, which offers an opportunity to meet and support each other. They also arrange for speakers at some of the mornings to discuss issues being raised by the ladies. I have found it so helpful to meet other ladies at these coffee mornings. Each person is at a different point in their journey but we all have an understanding and respect for each other’s choices.
I found that I needed the most support after my treatment had finished. During treatment I was so focused on what I needed to do to get through it and complete it without any delays. Bev has always been there to listen to me and is still supporting me when I need it. The support I have received has helped me to appreciate what I have and enjoy my life.
I have felt totally embraced with the support, treatment and holistic approach received from Penny Brohn UK and Genesis Care.