People affected by cancer have been under pressure, more than ever, in the last few years. As the NHS was stretched in dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, treatment delays and necessary changes in the way healthcare works, have left many feeling scared and worried.
"It’s a scary thing at the start as it’s the waiting which is one of the hardest to cope with. My treatment was during the covid lifting of restrictions and the impact on the hospitals meant scans were delayed and also results.
I think maybe because it takes what feels like so long between each step, it causes my inner negative voice to rise to the surface." - Online Community member, Anal cancer forum.
The additional challenges brought by COVID 19 are shared and talked about on our Community.
"The reason that I am posting this is that there will be people in our online community waiting for surgery who may wish to take additional precautions to avoid contracting Covid.
I hope that this message helps at least one person. None of us want to be in this club and to have an added pressure at a time when we are all feeling vulnerable is so not what we want." - Online Community member, Kidney cancer forum.
Our members on the Online Community understand the pressures you might be feeling. Why not share how you are doing here? You might just find someone else is feeling the same.
The Pressure to be Positive
In our recent Community News Blog, we talked about the pressure of coping with assumptions people make about people affected by cancer.
A cancer diagnosis, or treatment, can come with the pressure to be ‘positive’ or ‘strong’. When you consider this alongside the pressure of choosing a treatment path, or the extra pressures family and loved ones can bring, it can add up to a lot.
"My family are all falling to pieces and I am being left to pick them up. I don't mind doing this as I want to be there for my family and make things as easy as possible for them. But I am struggling myself." - Online Community member.
"Feel like it’s hard work putting on a brave face for everyone and feel like I can’t cope with it all anymore." - Online Community member, Family and friends forum.
However cancer and it’s impact is affecting you, you can always reach out for support here. Hopefully it can help you feel a little better.
"Firstly thank you for this amazing online forum , cant tell you how many late nights I've spent scrolling and reading the Macmillan site finding the facts and being reassured." - Online Community member, Breast cancer forum.
"Thank you so much. The support on here is invaluable." - Online Community member.
"Thank you, I really appreciate the support and advice on here." - Online Community member, Head and neck cancer forum.
Work and Cancer
Work pressure and stress management is talked about on the Online Community.
"I’m wondering if it’s possible to go through all these treatments and still work? Just took on an mortgage very recently and I’m worried about the financial implications if I find myself not being able to work." - Online Community member.
Cancer and it’s side effects can have a large impact on work. Be it your mental wellbeing, the physical side effects, or simply the practical issues and changes you may need to make.
Whether it’s short-term or long-term work pressures, we at Macmillan are here to help you understand your rights.
For some help understanding your rights at work, why not ask one of our Work Support Advisers a question in our Ask an Expert session on the Community?
Life After Cancer
After cancer there can be other pressures. After facing something as life changing as cancer treatment, there can be new challenges to deal with.
It could be the expectations of loved ones or family members that cancer is now ‘in the past’. It could be the pressure to ‘get back to normal’.
"Then one day you are told “Go live your life” and this instantly transports us into a parallel universe - you can see your old life but regardless what you do you can not get back on that same path." - Online Community member.
However you are feeling, you are probably not alone in feeling that way.
"I do get what you mean about not wanting to go back to “normal”. This is our new normal and thankfully we have been given a chance to change things for the better." - Online Community member.
Whatever pressure you’re feeling, the Online Community will always be here for you to let it out, if you feel it will help.
You can share frankly and honestly about the pressures you feel, in a safe and anonymous way. There’s no pressure here though. You don’t have to post if you don’t want, you can simply read the discussions or make the odd comment.
The Online Community aims to be a safe and anonymous space where you can share without the pressures of how your feelings might impact others.
We’ve released a lot of content recently around the pressures which might be causing you stress.
Your rights at work as a carer looked at the pressures of balancing work and looking after a loved one.
Cancer and Anxiety looked at support options for those who may be feeling anxious.
Cost of living – support for people with cancer looked at the support avenues for people worrying given the recent rises in essential living costs.
Have just joined, finding my way around site, so much information easy to be diverte.
Welcome to the Online Community, I'm Eliza from the Community team. I hope you've been finding the Online Community helpful to look through so far.
Here in the Community team, we're here to help you navigate the Online Community and find the right support for you.
If you need any further help or have any questions about the Online Community, you can contact the Community team over email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also post questions to us about how to use the site in our Technical Help space. I hope you'll find the Online Community to be a helpful place to find support and connect with others affected by cancer.
Macmillan Community team