Belfast resident Lawrence Black started his cancer journey last spring. Here he shares the support he received from Macmillan.
“I was a very fit and healthy 40 year old so when a lump appeared on my arm I was not overly concerned.
“I work as an engineer in Royal Hospitals, Belfast, and felt comfortable having a biopsy taken. I was relaxed about popping in for my results but when I saw the consultants face I knew it wasn’t good news. I heard cancer. I didn’t hear anything after that. It just wouldn’t sink in.
“I wanted to be completely honest. Luckily Angela was there to help with this too. I got information and advice on how to speak to them. It helped a great deal and the children took it really well.
“I will always be so grateful to Macmillan for being there.”
“With my treatment, I was given two options – surgery or radiotherapy. It was great to be given some control but I had no idea about the treatments. So, I went back to Angela. She told me to ask lots of questions to medical teams. I would never have had the confidence to do this without Angela’s support. I was operated on last December and it was a complete success.
“I left the room in a daze and started walking back down when I saw the Macmillan Information and Support Centre sign. Working at the hospital, I’d seen the sign every day but it had never meant anything to me. That day it meant everything. I just wanted to talk to someone. So I went straight to the Macmillan Information and Support Centre, where I met Angela.
“Telling my family was my first priority. I told Angela I was going to call my wife. Thankfully she advised me to do it face-to-face and I’m so glad she did. Instead I went to her work and we comforted each other it would have been awful if she had been alone when I broke the news.
“I also have two teenage children so telling them was very important.
“I coped really well with the medical side of things, but mentally it had a huge impact. Being a typical man, I often bottle up my feelings and having somewhere to go and offload was so important. The centre has a lovely little room with natural daylight shut off from the hustle and bustle of the hospital. It was my haven.
I will always be so grateful to Macmillan for being there.”
Macmillan is here for you too. Visit your local Information and Support Centre:
Macmillan Information Service, Royal Hospitals.
Level 2, Grosvenor Road. Tel: 02890 630 022
Macmillan Information and Support Centre, Belfast City Hospital.
77-81 Lisburn Road. Tel: 02890 699 201
Macmillan Information and Support Centre, Ulster Hospital.
Upper Newtonards Roadm Dundonald. Tel: 02890 553 246
For more about Macmillan and the services we offer, call theMacmillan Support Line free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk