Penny Brohn UK

Help change life with cancer. For good

Steve’s Story

Steve was diagnosed with melanoma after caring for his late brother and discovered Penny Brohn UK through our Living Well course. What he learnt transformed his stress levels and his life.

"I can’t thank Penny Brohn enough for what they’ve done for me, for my nutrition and mindfulness. My stress levels have dropped and it’s been amazing on my physical, emotional and spiritual sides."

I’m quite a typical person. I was a busy electrician, doing lots of calls across South Wales and the South West, quite stressful, really. I played lots of sport, rugby and golf in particular. I enjoyed the occasional beer on weekends.

I was fine and then my brother was diagnosed with cancer. It was stressful. I cared for him for the last three months of his life. The same day I picked up the death certificate I was diagnosed with melanoma. About two weeks later, I’d an incision all down one side of my neck and right across the other side, which was quite traumatic, to totally remove the cancer. I’d staples from side-to-side, lots of stiffness and pain for two-three months. Not long after, I had a bit of a nervous breakdown. I put it down to grief for my brother and the trauma I was going through.

I can’t say enough about Penny Brohn UK. The staff are just amazing, the surroundings are fantastic, the bond between fellow clients and staff is simply powerful.

When I first came here, I’d not spoken to many people about what I was going through, it was very difficult, even with close family and friends, but it was great to be able to speak with people on the course, get things off my chest and gain the knowledge to help me, and see other people’s positivity. I’ve been coming here for a while and my life seems enhanced. I’ve learnt more about myself and I’m more open to people around me.

Thankfully, I discovered mindfulness when I found out about Penny Brohn UK. I tried to be mindful after losing my brother and because the cancer had spread to my lungs, and into the nodes in my neck. I went on a Living Well course and experienced mindfulness and meditation to a higher level. It had an amazing effect on me and it grew and grew as I experimented and used it as a tool. I was feeling flat, down, not really depression, but close to and these tools helped these feelings disappear. For example, I had a scan which showed that some cancer had decreased while it’d increased in other areas and it helped calm me then. When I get bad news I use mindfulness and it’s amazing, the effect is so quick.

The Living Well course was fantastic for me. It’s helped me massively with nutrition. I thought I was eating healthily before, but I was having too much sugar and processed food. I’ve cut all processed food, I don’t eat red meat, I’ve changed my diet completely and feel so much better. Penny Brohn UK’s nutritionist was lovely. It wasn’t ‘rabbit food’, it was food that tastes better than any food I’ve ever eaten. It was full of spices, natural ingredients, no processed food. It was also a privilege to eat food in the National Centre's canteen. My weight was fluctuating due to treatment and the cancer, but it’s now steady and I feel strong. It’s been very helpful spiritually. I don’t need to sit back and let the disease control my body, I can fight it better by exercising even when I don’t feel like it. This is 100% due to the Living Well course.

I’ve been on the Approach course as well, which is even more detailed. It sort of tweaks things. I’m now doing even better with nutrition, it’s been an enriching experience.

I can’t thank Penny Brohn UK enough for what they’ve done for me, for my nutrition and mindfulness. My stress levels have dropped and it’s been amazing on my physical, emotional and spiritual sides. Everything about my life has changed since coming here. I’m positive across the board. I take more notice of what is around me.

I advise anyone in my position to visit because it’ll be an amazing experience. A friend who’s going through the disease, he’s got prostate cancer, was doing well, riding his bike, changing his diet, but was told it’d spread to his lung, and ‘he hit a wall’. I said ‘I’ve got the exact answer’ and gave him Penny Brohn UK’s details. He was a lively character, but for obvious reasons wasn’t himself. He returned from Penny Brohn UK exactly back to himself. He was fighting fit and had the tools to help him with what he was going through.

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