“I saw Ruth when my uncle was ill and then he died. I saw her for about eight weeks. When my uncle was ill I felt sad and scared that he would die. I talked to Ruth about what was happening and how I felt. I used to get the play dough and make emotions out of it, so we had red bits for anger, white bits for happiness and blue bits for sadness. I would put the bits into a bowl, choosing how I felt, over time the red bits got less. ”

My diagnosis of cancer came after over two years of debilitating ME & seemed the final straw. I coped with surgery but ‘collapsed’ mentally at the thought of continual check-ups (having to face the possibility of cancer returning). I have vulval cancer, which is a painful one to treat & I felt embarrassed having it! The 16 weeks of counselling allowed me to think about every aspect of my life. In that time, I suffered a bereavement and a cancer scare & a huge disappointment at not being well enough to return to work but counselling has improved my outlook & given me hope.”

“I have found myself being injured by some acquaintances and family as a result of contracting cancer. Those people are probably acting out of embarrassment as they do not know what to say, so they say nothing. If they can be made to realise that we cancer survivors need them more than ever, then we would feel better in ourselves. In other words, there needs to be better education of the general public as regards their attitudes and involvement.”

“I felt that I had reached a more secure and even happier place because my counsellor allowed me time to reflect, weep, laugh…all the emotions! It was a considerable experience for me as I learned to ‘unbottle’ myself of many upsetting things; to open up and even to look forward to better, if still tough, times.”

“My counsellor helped me understand it wasn’t my fault that I had cancer, and that it was OK to feel how I felt, not to be so hard on myself, to give myself time to do nothing when I felt like it, instead of punishing myself with having to do stuff and worrying how other people think especially work.”

“My sessions with my PAC counsellor helped me immensely with facing up to receiving further chemo treatment and the impact that would have on my life and that of my family. I found it very useful to discuss the way my life has changed from being a very independent person to now being dependant on others for so much. She helped me to discuss openly all my frustrations with my illness and find more positive ways to overcome these. My PAC counsellor helped me at a time when I was very low and her positive and sympathetic ideas and attitude were of tremendous help. PAC does an amazing job for those people living with cancer.”

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