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The way the ‘In the Pink’ course is delivered is inspirational as it's involving the participants, not just getting a collection of people in a room and talking to them.
I would like to say a great big thank you, to everyone running and delivering this course for people like me who have gone through breast cancer.
The diagnosis left me, along with those I know who have gone through the same treatment, feeling lost, alone and like a freak. The initial diagnosis and operation, which was hard to deal with were nothing compared to the effects of chemotherapy.
Telling my family and friends was harrowing enough, but one person, who I thought was a friend and no longer see, told me to get away from her as she did not want to catch anything. That made me feel dirty and unwanted. My family and real friends however more than made up for this and showered me with love and caring. But this left me frightened to go out and meet with other people. Apart from family I kept myself to myself.
The chemotherapy upset my bowel and I had to cease the course one treatment before the end as my bowel ruptured and was life threatening, so I was moved to a general surgery ward. And I was not the only one this happened to!!! This is a 'short' (ha-ha) summary of what happened to me so you will understand just how much your ‘In the Pink’ course helped me.
I was told about SCTE by word of mouth at a Moving Forward course at Glenfield Hospital by a lady who had already been on the course, Christine, it was one of the best things to come out of that course, the second being meeting with the 10 ladies taking part who have since become daily friends.
I felt really apprehensive about meeting Michelle, SCTE’s programme co-ordinator, for the initial interview; one, because I felt useless and thought people would see me as an undeserving participant and two, feeling so weak that I would let people down.
How wrong could I have been, Michelle put me at my ease and kindly explained what I could gain and give if I took up a place at Mountsorrel.
Day one, feeling very apprehensive, I got to the hall and met the other participants, they were all feeling the same, but we got on very well. It made me feel a little silly, but I understood why I had those feelings. I really enjoyed the first week. It made me remember just how good being with other people feels. I surprised myself with how well I got on. Then I started to analyse my feelings and realised just how much one person had pulled me down...... now could I go on from here?.... or was I really a freak.
Week two even better, everyone welcomed each other and trying a new activity along with the Pilates was great. Michelle was so positive about how we were doing and made everything fun as well as doing a great deal of good.
This went on throughout the weeks and by now I was beginning to believe in myself again. I could do things like before and make new friends and not feel uncomfortable.
The way the ‘In the Pink’ course is delivered is inspirational as it's involving the participants, not just getting a collection of people in a room and talking to them. When treatment stops at the hospitals, you are left on your own with no information as to how to help oneself, so the feelings I had of myself just filled my mind and grew. It was a black hole with no way out. Michelle and the programme helped me to climb out of the hole and see the light. I cannot think of anything else that could have done this.
I used to go to Pilates before diagnosis and really enjoyed it, but just going back to the same class where the instructor does not have the understanding that Michelle has would have had me trying to keep up to the standard I was at before. I now I realise this would have been the wrong thing to do. Your course has shown me that some things need to be approached differently but have a better effect.
I was a well thought of payroll manager with loads of get up and go before the bombshell hit me. I thought I had been robbed of life by all that happened. I now realise this is the start of a new part of my life with things to look forward to thanks to your programme of participation in new things with other people. Words are not enough to express just how much better I feel and that I can now go forward and give again to others.”
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Sue Young Cancer Support
Helen Webb House, 35 Westleigh Road,
Leicester LE3 0HH
Registered Charity Number 1124057
Company Limited By Guarantee Number 6362972