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Christine’s ‘moments of escapism’ at Weston Park Cancer Support

For one in two people, a cancer diagnosis will change everything. And while the impact on a person’s physical and mental health is clear, there are many other things to facing cancer which can also cause stress and anxiety.

Cancer support and complementary therapies - Christine's story

For a lot of people, the number of appointments and check-ups can be overwhelming – causing difficulty and added stress during an already challenging time. However, for Christine, free complementary therapies and help from Weston Park Cancer Charity have helped to alleviate these unspoken symptoms, too.

“When you’re going through cancer, you’re bombarded with appointments and letters,” said Christine.

“It can take over your life, so it becomes so important to have that bit of time to be relaxed – and complementary therapies at Weston Park Cancer Support have helped me to that.”

Christine’s diagnosis earlier this year came more than 12 years after an initial bladder cancer diagnosis in 2009.

After chemotherapy and regular scans, 10 years after her initial diagnosis she had been discharged from Royal Hallamshire Hospital – but sadly was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late 2021.

However, Christine wants others to follow in her footsteps in accessing vital treatment and important therapies and support, which have helped her hugely during her second experience of cancer.

"It gives you that moment of escapism"

“I’ve had reiki and reflexology, plus back massage therapy – and they’ve all been wonderful,” said Christine, a former teacher who lives in Chapeltown, Sheffield.

“The therapies give you that bit of time just to be relaxed, and it’s lovely. It gives you that moment of escapism.

“I always look on the positives of things rather than the negatives. That’s what you have to do. There are always new treatments and research coming out – we’re so lucky in Sheffield to have all the hospitals and treatment and research that we have.

“I didn’t access support back in 2009 during my first diagnosis, but I wish I had. It’s nice because it gives you somebody else to talk to as well, aside from your own family.”

Look Good, Feel Better 'pamper' sessions support Christine's recovery

Christine is now recovering from surgery and initial chemotherapy treatment for her cancer.

Christine’s surgery removed all of her cancer and 32 lymph nodes. She will now have between three and six more rounds of chemotherapy – a ‘mop up’ – and should finish treatment before Christmas 2022.

Christine has suffered side effects of her treatment such as hair loss, dryness in her face and a sore mouth, but Weston Park Cancer Charity has been there, together at every step, to support her in her recovery.

Her husband, Paul, has been very supportive – tirelessly providing care round-the-clock for Christine as she has gone through treatment.

She has now also benefited from a Look Good, Feel Better session held at Weston Park Cancer Support on Northumberland Road, Sheffield.

“My skin has been really dry, especially in the mornings – but techniques I’ve learnt at Look Good, Feel Better have helped me,” said Christine.

“They also have workshops to support with hair loss, nail care and skin care.

“It was good to talk to other people going through the same kinds of treatment and to share experiences. The facilitator, Sam, was very good at explaining what to do and giving us time.

“The goody bag was amazing – I thought it might be a couple of tester products, but they were full-sized and well-known products in a lovely bag, we were so lucky.

“A lot of glamourous, happy ladies walked out of the room that afternoon. Yes, it does make you feel better!”

We’re thrilled to hear about the impact which our support has had for Christine and her family. If you would like to know more about how we could help you or your loved ones, as we get through cancer together, please call 0114 553 3330.