Client Lynn Power explains how the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity supported her when she needed it the most;
The year was 2005 and I was 54 years old; I started getting excruciating pains in my left shoulder blade which prompted a visit to the osteopath. When they couldn’t ease my pain, my GP was my next option. Firstly I was told “you’ve got to expect these types of aches and pains at your age.” Not helpful! The pain got steadily worse and my poor husband Noel was having to care for me more and more.
In the end it took 11 months from my first GPs visit, to being diagnosed with multiple myeloma bone marrow cancer. I was initially sent to The Rivers Hospital in Sawbridgeworth and stayed there for 3 months; my spine would not flex and I was confined to a wheelchair.
My radiotherapy started at North Middlesex Hospital in Edmonton; five rounds of it, and then Harlow Hospital for two chemotherapy sessions. The side effects were tough; I was constantly tired, I sadly lost my hair but gained a fabulous wig! It took me about 5 months to recover from my treatments but I needed more…
I later underwent an incredible procedure at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge called autologous stem-cell transplantation, where bone marrow was extracted from my body, treated with radiotherapy and then put back inside me. When the doctors told me this is how I would be treated I was shocked; what an amazing procedure!
Still suffering with some of the emotional scars of my cancer journey, I came across an article in a newspaper which was advertising the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity. I decided to get in touch and met counsellor Lorna for my first session. I knew I’d made the right decision when I felt instantly calmer; there is something about talking to strangers that comes easily to us all. I later had reflexology which helped immensely with the medication I had to take.
Life went back to normal for a while, until in 2012 I noticed a clicking sound in my ribs, and pain in my spine and pelvis; the cancer had returned. After a second stem-cell transplant and an unfortunate bout of MRSA I was on the mend again. It took less time to recover with the help of Noel, my daughter Nadine, my son Andrew and the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity.
Once a month I lay down on the HRCC couch at the Bishop’s Stortford Support Centre with Clare my therapist and I talk about my hopes, my worries, my feelings while she gives me a reflexology treatment. After the session I come out of the little room feeling like I’m walking on air; it gives me a real lift.
I recently had a telephone call from the Helen Rollason Cancer Charity fundraising office informing me I had won first prize in their Winter Raffle which came as a complete shock! I had received the tickets along with my Moment Magazine, having been a member of their Helen’s Club since it first began. It was my husbands 70th birthday recently so we treated ourselves to a break away in Lincoln to celebrate; the money paid for our whole trip.
I donated £50 back to the charity from my winnings and I would like to personally thank everyone at the Support Centre for making it a warm, welcoming and calm place to come. I shall be forever grateful.
If this article has raised any concerns then please contact your nearest Helen Rollason Cancer Charity Support Centre; you can find your nearest one by clicking here.