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NOW CLOSED Macmillan Cancer Support Q&A

(36 Posts)
KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Jan-13 15:10:39

Macmillan know that it can help those who have cancer (or have a family member/friend who has cancer) to talk to others who have experience of cancer to share advice/tips and receive support. And we certainly know, from the many amazing cancer-support threads on Mumsnet, how valuable this kind of peer support can be.

With that in mind, Macmillian are looking to organise a Q&A session on Mumsnet, where the 'experts' are MNers who have experience of cancer. The Q&A will be posted on Mumsnet as usual and, as usual, anyone MNer will be able to post a question.

What we're looking for, in advance of that, are MNers to share their experiences and advice (i.e. act as the MN "experts"). Maybe you already support others on one of MN's cancer-support threads, maybe you've leant on the support provided on those threads and would now like to offer back some hard-won wisdom of your own - or maybe you just feel you have something valuable to share with others who are at the beginning of a journey you're still on, or have been on.

If you're selected to take part, you'll be sent some questions to answer w/c 18th Feb, please only sign up if you're available to answer the questions that week. Your answers will then be posted on MN, linked to from Macmillan's pages on Mumsnet and possibly elsewhere.

If you or a family member/friend has cancer/has experienced cancer and you'd like to provide advice and support to other Mumsnetters in this position please sign up here

We realise this is a sensitive topic and we certainly don't wish to upset anyone. Please only sign up if you are keen to or feel able to share your experience. Don't worry, you don?t have to be an expert on cancer, someone from Macmillan will be there to answer questions too. The goal is to gather the advice and wisdom of Mumsnetters who have experience of cancer and share it with others who might be going through something similar.



ItsAllGoingToBeFine Tue 22-Jan-13 17:03:06

I gave nothing to contribute, but that is a great idea!

lisad123everybodydancenow Tue 22-Jan-13 17:08:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

IamtheZombie Tue 22-Jan-13 17:12:04

Zombie is willing to help. She'll even talk proper foir it. grin

I am currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer. I've had the mastectomy, the chemotherapy, the radiotherapy and currently just over half way through my course of Herceptin.

Ilovemyteddy Tue 22-Jan-13 17:23:12

DH had bowel cancer almost four years ago and is doing well. Not sure I could contribute much to the Q&A but wanted to say that he found the forums on the Macmillan site an invaluable help when he was diagnosed and going through treatment.

Gigondas Tue 22-Jan-13 17:44:27

Have tried to respond I think but happy to help and will post in tamoxifen thread for cancer people.

Am happy to help but I like the way zombie talks .

DomesticCEO Tue 22-Jan-13 18:03:31

<waves to Gig>

Gig pointed me this way - happy to help as a friend who's supported a couple of friends through cancer, although haven't had it myself.

timidviper Tue 22-Jan-13 18:07:17

My darling Dad died of cancer at 72. Once he was diagnosed his care was very good but we had about 4 months of him having increasing bowel problems, being in excruciating pain, inadequately medicated and treated with a lack of care and consideration almost as though he was just being a wimp despite him having a sense of something being very wrong and having told his GP and consultant that.

On one occasion DM took him to hospital as he had fallen and was almost senseless from pain, he was examined, told there was no sign of anything wrong and delivered back home at 2am by 2 paramedics who had to hold him under his arms to walk him in as he was too weak to walk alone. He was put in an armchair at home and left, incapable of moving from it.

Eventually it became clear his "weakness" was building paralysis and only then was he given some specialised scan which showed a tumour in the spinal cord.

I am now very aware that some cancer patients suffer far too much before they are able to get a diagnosis and all the Gold Standard Framework stuff kicks in. I don't think I will be able to help much as Dad only survived about 4-6 weeks from diagnosis and that was all spent in hospital but it is a shame that people can suffer so much through delayed diagnoses which are no fault of their own.

IamtheZombie Tue 22-Jan-13 18:32:14

timidviper, my godson's symptoms were also dismissed for far too long. He was eventually correctly diagnosed but it was too late. We lost him in September.

MrsBungleBear Tue 22-Jan-13 19:21:11

I have filled in the form - am happy to contribute.

Story similar to Timid here. My mum died aged 52 from cancer. She had been ill and complaining to GP for almost a year before she was diagnosed - too late. She died 12 weeks after diagnosis. Her cancer was only diagnosed when she was admitted to hospital after she told the GP she was in immense pain. She was admitted with suspected appendicitis.

After diagnosis, though, the care we received was very good and she was able to die at home with support from palliative care team, district nurse and Marie Curie.

SweetestThing Tue 22-Jan-13 20:38:00


Welovecouscous Tue 22-Jan-13 20:52:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NedSchneebly Tue 22-Jan-13 21:19:04

I've had breast cancer, and have filled in form. Happy to help if I can. Great idea, this smile

NotAllItsCrackedUpToBe Tue 22-Jan-13 22:43:56

I have no personal experience of cancer so far but my Mum was a Macmillan nurse before retirement and I learnt from her that support is always available out there but unfortunately not always well publicised, so people are often not aware of the support they can get.

I think this is a great way of raising awareness of all types of support that can help people going through a very difficult time. I am pleased to see that whilst MacMillan do a great job and will undoubtedly raise their own profile through this, they are doing something to promote other forms of support for cancer patients and their loved ones that can be equally as important.

lisad123everybodydancenow Tue 22-Jan-13 23:07:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PootlePosyPerkin Wed 23-Jan-13 00:03:02

I have lost both of my parents to cancer - two very different illnesses and two very different deaths. If I can help others at all then that has to be a good thing.

MrsShrek3 Wed 23-Jan-13 02:12:13

Lisa has given me some awesome advice, she's amazing smile
Also wondered how it will go as there are so many forms of cancer and so many treatments and trials, with individual variations too. I really hope this Q&A works because it will complement the other support threads that are currently running. posting links on there to this thread might also be a plan, carefully obv...

tallwivglasses Wed 23-Jan-13 02:20:26

I'm sick of hearing all these stories of late diagnosis. Dd's dad repeatedly went to his GP with lumps on his head before he was sent to a specialist. Within 6 months he was dead at 46 having suffered pain no-one should have to go through in this day and age. The McMillan people and hospice staff were amazing btw, I just hope someone had a word with the doctor. Whatever happened to early intervention?

Mockingcurl Wed 23-Jan-13 08:57:31

I was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago. I had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. The chemotherapy was by far the most traumatic part. I would not have got through it without the help and support if the McMillan nurses. They were the ones who gave me the chemo and phoned me at home every day for a week following each session.
They provided a lifeline for my entire family during a very difficult time. I am happy to help.

annekins Wed 23-Jan-13 10:57:10

I can't add the Q&A but just wanted to add my huge support for Macmillan, they provided travel insurance for a very dear friend so she could take a trip to Australia to see family and friends after she was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. Super charity, its a shame we have to rely on charities so much to support people with cancer though!

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 23-Jan-13 14:46:54

Thanks to everyone who has signed up so far and for all your comments - they're really appreciated. Just to reiterate the MN 'experts' will be providing advice on support, there will also be a Macmillan expert on hand to deal with any more technical questions that might come up. Please do direct anyone to this thread who you think would be interested. thanks

MaryAnnSingleton Wed 23-Jan-13 16:49:17

yes- I'd be delighted to participate !

sajaruss Thu 24-Jan-13 21:05:31

I'd be happy to be part of this too. I was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004, (don't laugh at this next bit) I didn't realise it was cancer, thought it was more akin to something like a brain heamorrage (sp?). At the same time, my dear mum was in the last stages of her life. She'd been to her GP so many times complaining of severe back pain, he dismissed it as suspected kidney stones. When she finally got a scan it revealed advanced pancreatic cancer, too late to give any treatment. I went to her funeral a week after having my first lot of brain surgery. It was a tough time and I still miss her immensely.
Cannot praise Macmillan enough. I have been looked after by two fantastic Macmillan specialist nurses who have provided support, advice as well as friendship and humour.

BlueyDragon Thu 24-Jan-13 22:29:17

Count me in - I'm having chemo for bowel cancer at the moment. Bowel cancer diagnoses are compromised by the embarrassment factor and by the fact that it's not a high profile cancer, but just as prolific. I don't embarrass easily so happy to share my story if it helps others avoid what me and my family and friends have been through.

KurriKurri Thu 24-Jan-13 23:35:57

Survey completed smile MacMillan is a great organization.

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