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What Sunflowers means to me

“At the age of 36 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I started using Sunflowers towards the end of 6 months of chemotherapy, I was bald, exhausted and pretty terrified.

As a younger person with cancer my days were often spent on my own whilst everyone else was at work, I wasn’t able to socialise due to the effects of my treatment and despite coming to lots of appointments with me, my family lived far away. I felt and still can feel very alone due to cancer and it’s effects.On stepping through the door to Sunflowers, my heart in my mouth, I was wishing I didn’t have to go there then I met the receptionist. She was so welcoming and understanding and I instantly burst into tears. In the coming weeks and months I started using the complimentary therapy services, it not only helped me to relax at a very scary and stressful time but I also had contact with people – people who knew the challenges faced by people with cancer. The little incidental chats about how I was, how treatment was going, introductions to others in similar situations without any pressure. It made me less isolated, it gave me some structure and goals to my days and importantly some nice things to look forward to whilst I was going through the totally gruelling process of chemotherapy and surgery after surgery. Sunflowers values your well-being, it helps make horrendous times easier and the staff go above and beyond to make sure that happens. As I began my recovery I started attending the pilates class, I was anxious about the changes to my body, I was exhausted and in pain. The specially tailored classes and the instructors experience helped me to build my confidence in my body again. Over the months with support and guidance I started to rebuild my battered and bruised body back up, it also helped me being the process of emotionally coming to terms with what had happened to me. Being in a class with other cancer survivors or patients allows you to feel comfortable and go at your own pace.I have been using Sunflowers and the services it offers for over a year now and it’s ensured that I was not totally alone when family weren’t able to be close by. It has helped my emotional and physical recovery and I now exercise at least 2.5 hours a week, the recommended amount to try and reduce the chance of recurrence. If Sunflowers had not been there I would have been extremely isolated and I have no doubt that I would not have been as far along in my recovery now without their support.The staff care for you and they really care about what they do, it is a place of safety and support as you fight for you life and then try to rebuild it in the aftermath of cancer.”Breast Cancer Survivor and Sunflowers User