Where can I get support over the festive season?
This month, people all over the UK will be celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, Bodhi Day, Kwanzaa and the Winter Solstice.
For many of us, it will be a chance to spend precious time with family and friends, making happy memories. But for some people affected by cancer, the festive season comes with added emotional and practical challenges to navigate.
The pressure of creating the ‘perfect’ family Christmas, while secretly dealing with uncertainty about the future can be overwhelming. Some people may be wondering what to eat while managing side effects of treatment. Or how to adjust festive food menus to make sure loved ones feel included. Others may feel isolated, lonely, scared or worried, whether they’re surrounded by family and friends or living on their own.
With many health and support services closing over the holidays, people living with cancer or supporting loved ones who have cancer may be left feeling anxious about where to turn for support.
Support from Macmillan
Here at Macmillan, we know cancer doesn’t take a holiday. That’s why we will be here for you throughout the festive period.
Macmillan Support Line
Our cancer information nurse specialists and cancer information and support team will be available every day, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. If you would like to chat to someone for practical and emotional support, you can:
British Sign Language support
If you are hard of hearing or D/deaf, you can ask for a British Sign Language (BSL) interpreter call to be set up. You can do this by emailing us or chatting with us online. Or if you prefer, you can ask a hearing family member or friend to call the support line on your behalf.
It can take up to 3 working days to arrange a call. This depends on the availability of BSL interpreters and finding a time that suits you. You will need to have access to a laptop or PC, a good internet connection and a webcam.
Macmillan Online Community
Macmillan’s Online Community is available 24 hours a day, every day. Whether you’re going through cancer treatment, coping with a cancer diagnosis, side effects or recovery, supporting a loved one or coping with bereavement, our members are here to offer support and understanding.
As well as Macmillan, there are other services here to support you.
If you’re worried about symptoms or need medical assistance outside normal GP surgery opening hours, you can contact the following services:
If you are having cancer treatment and you’re worried about new or worsening symptoms, you should contact the 24 hour emergency number given to you by your treatment team.
If you need immediate emotional or mental health support
If you would like to talk to someone right now, there are services available who can help.
If you have serious concerns for your immediate safety or someone else’s, go to your nearest Accident and Emergency department or call the emergency services 999 for assistance.
We know this is a difficult time of year for many of you. Please remember, you are not alone. From everyone here at Macmillan Cancer Support, we wish you a safe and restful holiday.