I’d like to let you know about a project I am involved in. I volunteer with another part of Macmillan called the London Cancer Community. It’s a new initiative that launched about a year ago. The idea is to be pro-active in reaching out to communities and getting more people involved in helping to shape cancer services, particularly people who may not usually engage or are not normally represented. It grew out of the Cancer Voices work, which some of you may be familiar with, and some of the things we do are similar to that.
There is an ongoing project with the Tate at the moment, around Unheard Cancer Voices. Macmillan are working with a small arts and health organisation to create a series of magazines to support people living with cancer, which will be delivered to cancer centres and cancer support organisations. There are a couple of ways to get involved – The artwork, and some written accounts that are contributed will be based on cancer stories and some of the artwork will be exhibited at the Tate Modern next spring.
I can’t share the exact details with you here – it would be against the guidelines but the community admin team have agreed that I can tell you more about it and if anyone is interested, please PM me and I’ll share more information with you.
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What an amazing initiative. I'm a 42 year old white woman and I have had an 'easy' ride, so am very well represented, but I know some communities still have taboos over cancer. The only thing that I'd like to mention, is the fact there are a lot of us out there that have survivor guilt. Guilt that our treatments may not have been the longest or the toughest. I don't think that is the kind of thing you are looking for, but it is an important message to people. Again - what a great initiative and good luck! I've liked the Unheard Cancer Voices FB page xxx
I also fall into that category to some degree but I found it really quite difficult to communicate with my team and navigate the whole process, so goodness knows how people with other barriers manage. That's one reason why I got involved with this idea of engaging communities.
I think survivors guilt is a little-known part of the process. I got the whole lot of treatment - 4 rounds of chemo, full mastectomy, node clearance, radiotherapy, Tamoxifen. I know women who tell me they "only" had this or that treatment. I don't think they necessarily had it any easier than me - all the baggage that comes with a cancer diagnosis is still there. They look at my treatment and feel guilty, I look at those that didn't make it and feel guilty - it goes on and on.
By all means, if you feel like expressing your story - go for it. From your post, I think you probably have all the information I could give you about how to go about it, but I'd definitely say your story is relevant and deserves to be heard!
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