Gillian from Conwy is an active member of her local Sing with Us choir and Llandudno Friends of Tenovus Cancer Care group.
This is Gillian's story:
“When you’re diagnosed with cancer, it’s so negative. You feel anger, loss, worry – and you continue to feel those things when you’re having scans or waiting for appointments.
“I’ve used nearly all of Tenovus Cancer Care’s services! I’m a member of my local choir, I’ve had financial and employment advice, and I’ve had counselling. They're such an amazing charity. The’ve played a vital role in my cancer journey.
“I had to stop working when I had my operations and treatment. My activities were really limited. It was such a worrying time for the family, and having to finish work caused a lot of heartache. Dawn my Cancer Support Advisor was amazing. Truly amazing. She helped me understand what I was entitled to, and how to go about claiming it. She gave brilliant advice about work as well. I’ve always worked, so it was really hard for me. She continued to help me when I wanted to return to work, how to go about it and what I needed to check with my employers. She made everything so easy, and the best thing is, I know she’s there if I need anything.
“I really benefitted from counselling. I was in a place where I really needed some help. I was able to have my counselling in Bangor hospital – somewhere local that I knew. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all! My counsellor Angela was calm and so good. Good is the wrong word, but she was such a good person! She listened to me, and helped me sort out how I was feeling.
“Singing is exhilarating. I always feel better after I go to choir, and it always makes me feel good. Our choir leader Izzy is so charismatic, so full of energy. The choir is a big part of my life! I only miss choir if I have hospital appointments. You don’t realise the power of singing until you start doing it yourself. We sang in the cancer treatment centre, and people came to listen. There was a family there who had just had some bad news, and they came to listen to us sing, and they joined in.
“I wanted to give back to a charity who had given me so much, which is why I’ve been involved in the Llandudno Friends of Tenovus Cancer Care group since it started. We’ve been going for about a year now. I’m very open about having cancer. I want to help as many people as possible. I always tell people to get in touch with Tenovus Cancer Care. Having cancer is awful, but we need to tell the positive stories!”
If you'd like to find out more about counselling, Cancer Support Advice, our Sing with Us choirs or any of our cancer support services, click here or call us on 0808 808 1010.