Supporting the

Neuroendocrine Cancer Community

Thanks for the invitation to tell about myself for the « Faces of NCUK « campaign. I am a patient (diagnosed with primary tumour in the ileum and mets in the mesentery and nearby lymph nodes requiring the removal of a third of my colon) but by way of introduction to me the person not just the patient …

.. I was born and brought up in England but have spent many years living abroad mostly in France, and learning foreign languages is one of my passions. I spent many years of my life bringing up children, so it is fair to say that family is very important to me.

Just before my diagnosis (November 2019) my most recent life events had been the death of one of my daughter’s, Rose, aged 24 in 2014. Followed by the death of my husband, Henry, in 2016. Suddenly all the children had grown and flown (one heavenwards) and then I was widowed. Suddenly all alone.

I feel it is extremely important for us to share our Neuroendocrine cancer stories as doing so goes a long way to alleviate the feeling of isolation that follows upon a diagnosis of an illness no one has heard of. Everyone always immediately looks for more information, right ? It is re-assuring to read other’s stories. I myself benefitted from that, and I would like to contribute to others also so benefitting. What goes around, comes around!

I feel passionately that the referral and diagnosis process for most patients in the U.K. is lamentably slow. Something has to change!

I have benefitted from the help of NCUK, in particular from their excellent professional counselling service; – free to the patient! In my own case I had lived through years and years of hospitals when Rose was ill and now wanted a period of life hospital free so I found it hard to accept that once more I had to be immersed in hospitals. I would rather it all just went away!

I would like to encourage others to also benefit from all the help that NCUK offers. There is also a huge task of raising awareness, as most people have never heard of this cancer. And I would like to say both to patients and carers,

« Always make a point of accepting all offers of help. »

That is a good motto and a good coping strategy.