Sacha was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2018. This was followed by a whirlwind of chemotherapy, and two surgeries. In September 2019 she started 15 rounds of radiotherapy.
Sacha was offered support by The Mulberry Centre when she was first diagnosed, but it wasn’t until she finished her radiotherapy that she was able to appreciate the toll it had taken on her well-being, and realise that she would need some emotional support to heal.
When Sacha first visited The Mulberry Centre her anxiety levels were very high. She chose to try six sessions of reiki and reflexology, and afterwards told us that ‘‘Claudia (volunteer therapist) helped me relax my incredibly tense body and gave me the environment and tools to release some of the physical anxiety I was holding onto.’
Sacha also went through our counselling programme. She said that the six planned counselling sessions ‘really helped me to make sense of my emotions and understand my feelings, and how to direct them when anxiety levels increase’.
When the time came for Sacha to have her annual mammogram, her fear and anxiety returned. The Mulberry Centre was able to provide an emergency counselling session to help her cope.
Sacha told us that ‘the impact of these services on my emotional, physical and psychological well-being has been ENORMOUSLY POSITIVE!’
The staff and volunteers at The Mulberry Centre offer a supportive environment for people when they are at their most vulnerable. When they arrive, clients are greeted by a friendly face and an offer of a cup of tea. The Centre fills a void at a time of darkness and despair for patients, their family, carers and friends.
Matt’s cancer was first diagnosed in 2015 when he was 48. The cancer was successfully treated and, despite one incidence of recurrence, it virtually disappeared. However, four months later Matt’s world was devastated by the news that his lung metastasis had returned and was now incurable.
Speaking with a counsellor at The Mulberry Centre helped Matt to think positively and restore balance in his life:
‘They picked me off the floor and supported me through the first steps in my journey to coping.’
Alongside dramatic changes to his diet and lifestyle, counselling also helped Matt to live in the moment, as he remembers being told:
‘Look at the clock. It’s ten past two on Thursday, and right now you are OK. You look fine, you feel fine, and life is OK.’
Subsequently, Matt made dramatic changes to his lifestyle, cutting sugar, caffeine and red meat from his diet, whilst playing golf and cycling regularly. Counselling also helped him to live in the moment.