'Celebrating Life After Cancer'

Cancer survivors in Suffolk can go to a 'Celebrating Life After Cancer' event to help them tackle some of the ongoing issues that arise from the disease or its treatment.

Volunteers at the Macmillan Information Centre at West Suffolk Hospital have organised the event, which will be held at the hospital's Education Centre today, Saturday 18 September.

Wendy Marchant, Macmillan Information Service Manager, said: "More and more people are living with and beyond a diagnosis of cancer. The effects on a person and their family can be far reaching and the programme for the day reflects this. There will be speakers who have had cancer themselves and who will be talking about their experiences of life after cancer as well as workshops and information about the issues people face in the longer term."

Topics for the sessions and information displays reflect not only the physical health and wellbeing of people affected but also the social, financial and emotional issues which the effects of cancer can create. The topics and sessions on the day include: volunteering, returning to work, healthy eating, complementary therapies, yoga, relaxation, dress and colour and massage. Friends and partners can also attend.

For more information contact the Macmillan Information Centre on 01284 713023. Wendy Marchant, Centre Manager, or the Macmillan Information volunteers. There is no charge for this event.

If you are unable to attend the day but would like more information about life after a cancer diagnosis, telephone or drop-in the Macmillan Information Centre (no appointment necessary) at West Suffolk Hospital. The Centre is open from 8.30am until 4.30pm, Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). There is a voicemail service if we are not available to take your call so please leave your name and a contact number and we will return your call as soon as possible.

Ruth Worsley who was 55 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer is going to the events and told Heart why it helps to speak to people going through the same experience: "It's very positive to listen to how they've actually dealt with it. Some people would look at me and say 'well you've gone through it and got through it so I can do that too.' On the other hand I can listen to other people's stories and find out how they got through things."

She also told us there are other reasons why it helps: "Self esteem and confidence can get quite a knock. I put a stone on in weight. You also have to deal with hair loss, fatigue and pain. Those things can be helped by gaining tips on how I can be healthier. It's all about being positive."

Ruth is taking her husband Phil with her to the event, where he can take part in workshops himself. She told Heart: "He's been absolutely wonderful. He sort of switched from husband role to carer role. I think I owe him my life really - he's been so supportive."

Just recently, Ruth took part in a Cancer Research UK Race For Life Event in Colchester with her friend Julie and raised £175. For more information on the Race For Life and the work of Cancer Research UK, you can follow the weblink.

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