Hi, I'm Julie. I'm married to Chris and we have two beautiful daughters, Jenny and Amy and three gorgeous grandchildren, Ben, Amy and Megan. Little did I know back in September 2016 on one of the happiest and proudest days of my life celebrating the wedding of our daughter Amy and husband Joe in Portugal, that three months later I would be diagnosed with cervical cancer.
At the end of October I started experiencing some worrying symptoms which I quickly went to get checked out with my GP. She didn't hesitate to refer me to a gynaecologist at Stepping Hill because post-menopausal bleeding with pelvic pain can signal a number of things. I was soon in the system and after a couple of procedures and MRI scans and a heck of a lot of worrying and fearing the worst, it was confirmed that I had stage 2b cervical cancer. I was told it was very treatable with chemotherapy and radiotherapy and the prognosis was good. As you can imagine, I went through every emotion from shock, fear, sadness, anger and the inevitable "why me?" How to tell my husband and my family.
I have been a volunteer complementary therapist at Beechwood, providing Aromatherapy, Reflexology and Reiki to patients and carers. It is the most rewarding and wonderful job and I absolutely love all my colleagues and friends and of course the patients. So once I had got over the shock of my diagnosis and was well into the treatment at the Christie, I contacted Beechwood to say I was ready to start my 8 week programme as a patient. Being on the "other side" has been a challenge. I have to resist the urge to "look after" my fellow patients and let the volunteers and staff look after me. The support available is wonderful. It's a safe place to talk openly about whatever you need to discuss with your one to one nurse. Things you feel you don't want to burden your family and friends with.