Hello, my name is Elaine Shaw; I live with my partner and have two fantastic children.
Emma is 29 and now a Lawyer and James is 20 and at University.
I was diagnosed with breast cancer in April 2012. Initially I dealt with the news fairly well, I had a lumpectomy followed by radiotherapy. The week after my operation I hit the BRICK WALL!! The cancer was aggressive and the surgeon hadn't got clear margins, it was also in my lymph nodes. I needed chemo which I had for 6 months. I then needed further surgery followed by a course of radiotherapy.
It's not only dealing with the physical side of the debilitating treatment, it’s also the psychological aspect. The diagnosis affected my whole family. Emma was travelling with a friend and wasn’t due home for over 6 weeks. James was in the middle of his 'A' levels. How do you tell them?
I had so much going on in my head and trying to hold everyone together, I was told about
Beechwood Cancer Care Centre. I referred myself and commenced an 8 week programme. My introduction to Beechwood was the oasis I needed, walking through that door and being welcomed by the most caring people. The counselling was invaluable because you don't have to pretend that you're ok. Group sessions had a positive effect on me, we were a real mixed group of people and I thank all of them for sharing so much emotionally.
I will always be thankful and grateful to all the volunteers, therapists and counsellors.