Shelley’s world was turned upside down in 2006 when she was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer, 10 years on she shares her story of Hope….
In July 2006 I was given the devastating news that I had Cervical Cancer at the age of 36.
My world, within seconds, had just been turned upside down for my husband, my 9 year old, my family and me. We had just lost my gran to cancer and thought there was only going to be another sad ending but Cancer Support Yorkshire gave me hope.
After being diagnosed I totally went into myself, I didn’t want to see anybody, I was a nervous wreck, I cried at every appointment and just didn’t want to go anywhere, especially not to hospital.
I didn’t cope with my treatment very well either, I was exhausted, sick, in pain and could only drag myself out of bed for the daily visits to the hospital. I didn’t speak to anybody about my feelings as I didn’t want to burden them, it was bad enough for them to see me like that, they didn’t need to know my real thoughts.
I tried counselling but found it overwhelming travelling to Leeds for appointments so stopped going. I carried on being withdrawn and not wanting to talk about it for a very long time until I saw something on Facebook about Craft Classes being held at Cancer Support Yorkshire. I took up crafting whilst recovering after treatment and I thought I could donate some of my stock to the centre.
I visited the centre and walked out as a Volunteer Craft Tutor (which was great) but I also made a promise that I would attend the Monthly Women’s Group. I was a little bit apprehensive about the Women’s Group as I didn’t feel that I had anything to say to people I didn’t know. How wrong I was!
I had so much to say, all the other women in the group were in the same boat as me - paddling without an oar! We had an immediate bond and I have never let so much out about cancer and my feelings. It has took me some years to get to the point where I felt much lighter and was able to laugh again.
I am now 10 years down the line – how amazing is that? I finally feel like I can help others too, so now I work for Cancer Support Yorkshire as a Support Adviser helping and advising others on a daily basis. It really is the safest, open place I have been and will continue to visit other than work.