What helped you when you came home from hospital after or during cancer treatment?

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Hi everyone,

I'm Eliza from the Community team. We're putting together some content for Community News to collate support and tips for people who are recovering at home after cancer treatment, surgery or a hospital stay. We know this can be an overwhelming time for many people and their loved ones.

What are some things that helped you cope when you came home from hospital? From your personal viewpoint, what are some things loved ones can do to help during this time? If you are a carer or loved one of someone who has been diagnosed with cancer, what did you find helpful for yourself and for your loved one?

This could be emotional support, practical tips, good questions to ask the hospital, or any actions you took to prepare yourself or your home. Cancer treatment and recovery can look very different and involve a lot of different experiences across the Community, and we're hoping to share as many tips and experiences as we can within the blog.

Thanks everyone! Please share any thoughts you have in the discussion thread below.

  • Hi Eliza, My longest stay in hospital was only 3 days for surgery, though i had 5 overnight stays for minor surgeries and 7 overnights via A+E as well as well as over 40 scans and all sorts of tests and appointments, Having a healthcare background i know how important it is to have good care and support when discharged, PS  i am not on a recovery pathway more a well controlled slide. Knowing what potential problems you may encounter and where to find the best advice quickly is important so I have my LCN, 2 Macmillan nurses, my district nurse and "lucky me" 2 wonderful GPs should i have any problems, which thankfully are rare at the moment, It is so comforting and removes a lot of stress and worry knowing you have a medical team to support you. Family is so important to me too, I have a wonderful partner, 3 kids, all grown up, and 7 grandkids who always put me in a happy place when i see them, and as i asked, treat me as they always have. There are times i need to be alone so will walk the dog or spend time on the allotment as I do have dark days but also I find exercise helps me physically but more importantly emotionally. Like everyone I want to be independent, though there are times when i struggle and have to ask for help, which I don't like, but realise it is needed sometimes. I have had problems with sleeping, relaxing, anxiety and memory problems caused by radiotherapy and have done courses/therapies which have helped with them all and last but not least, talking to others who are on the same journey as you is wonderful. best wishes to you all, take care.


  • Thanks for sharing what you've found helpful Eddie, I'm glad to hear that you feel you have support around you.

    Macmillan Community Team

  • Hi, I often hear people ask “how can I help?” My advice to those going through treatment is to accept all the help that is offered, even if that seems a little uncomfortable for you.

    Some ideas for those wanting to support could include bringing a meal that can be easily and quickly heated up, as I didn't have the strength to stand and cook but we know freshly cooked nutritious meals are really good for recovery.  

    Offering to pick up some groceries is also useful, as lifting or even driving can be a problem.

    Doing some cleaning is something others can help with, reducing the risk of infection is important after surgery or during chemo and my husband was super about keeping on top of a stricter than usual cleaning routine.

    For those who are further away and can't offer practical support, I received many gifts and care packages, ands I particularly appreciated things like hand cream, cosy warm socks, books and treats to eat.   I found it really uplifting to receive things like this.

    Hope these ideas help those of you themselves or those wanting to support. 

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  • Hi everyone

    I know this may sound trivial, but for me what I was most looking forward to after my recent 9 day unexpected stay in hospital, was my bed with fresh cleaned sheets on it! Bliss. There's nothing better than a freshly-made bed.

    Oh, and a bath. They don't have baths in my hospital, just showers, and I love having a long soak. I was tempted to sneak off into the maternity unit to see if they had a birthing pool free, but didn't dare!!


  • Thanks  , it's great to hear your tips! 

    Macmillan Community Team

  • Thank you for sharing your experience  , I'm sure lots of members would agree that there's nothing better than fresh sheets. 

    Macmillan Community Team