New Macmillan cancer information centre to open at Queen’s Medical Centre
A £320,000 Macmillan cancer information centre is to be opened at the Queen’s Medical Centre.
The information and support centre based at the hospital will officially open to the public on Monday, October 16.
The centre – funded by Macmillan supporters – will offer cancer information, emotional support and practical advice to patients, relatives and carers throughout their difficult journey.
The site is an extension of the existing information service located at the City Hospital, which last year supported 6,500 people affected by cancer.
But now, with the new second site, the centre can now aim to help more of the 26,500 people in Nottinghamshire living with cancer.
Josh Appleyard, of Mapperley, was diagnosed with sarcoma at just 18 years old.He says at the time of his diagnosis there was very little cancer information and support available – and because of this he suffered severely with depression and suicidal thoughts.
Now he wants to volunteer for the centre to make sure others do not feel “isolated” like he did.
The 23-year-old said: “It was a shock to be told I had cancer at such a young age, especially as at first they thought I might lose my leg.
“Luckily they managed to cut it out, but I’ve had to learn how to walk again and deal with all sorts of complications as a result of the surgery.
“I had 20 percent of my leg removed and a course of radiotherapy. But after the operation the wound didn’t heal, so I basically lived with a hole in my leg for five years.
“I felt very isolated at the time. I was 18, so I wasn’t a child, but I wasn’t an adult either and I didn’t feel there was anyone I could really talk to.
“I went on a downward spiral, drinking a lot and using recreational drugs.
“I fell out with my step dad so at one point I was homeless, sleeping on friends’ sofas. I kept thinking why me, it felt so unfair.”
The Macmillan information and support centre will be located in the main outpatients entrance.
He added: “It wasn’t until I met my girlfriend Emma Downing that things started to get better. It sounds a cliché, but I fell in love. She took me in and listened.
“Now thanks to Emma I’m doing okay. I’ve got a good job and I’ve had a second surgery to fix the post-op problems with my knee.
“I just want to be a voice and talk to people about cancer.
“It sounds odd but actually having cancer and going through the treatment isn’t the worst bit. It’s the after-effects that are much more harmful.
“It’s a long journey to recovery when treatment’s over.
“I can’t help thinking if there’d been someone like Emma who I could have talked to at the time, I might not have gone through all this.”
The centre will be open to all health and social care professionals requiring cancer information and support as well.
Macmillan partnership manager for Nottinghamshire Sue Sanderson said: “There has previously been a lack of cancer information readily available at Queen’s Medical Centre, but thanks to the opening of the new centre, we are pleased that this will no longer be the case.
“We want to support people living with cancer in Nottingham and the surrounding area from the moment they are diagnosed to beyond treatment.”
Lead cancer nurse at Nottingham University Hospital Sue Chisholm said: “We are very grateful for the hard work and commitment our Macmillan and NUH colleagues have given to realise this amazing service.”
It will be open from Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm, and you do not need to make an appointment.
Source Nottingham Post