Nobody expects you to deal with everything on your own. There are lots of charities and other organisations that offer support in a variety of ways to help you during your recovery.
We have outlined some of the services provided by us and other national charities, but there are many others organised locally. If you ask your clinical nurse specialist, they can give you information on the services in your area.
Many patients often feel isolated during parts of their recovery because nobody around them truly understands what they are going through. Although your friends and family will be as supportive as they can, it’s not the same as talking to someone who is going through the same thing.
Talking to other patients about your concerns, and hearing how they deal with theirs, will help you put your situation in context. You can give each other support and encouragement.
You can search for local support groups and nearby information and support centres using Bloodwise’s Blood Cancer Connect webpage.
Macmillan’s In your area webpage signposts to similar services that support patients with any type of cancer, including blood cancers.
Our Peer Support Service enables patients to talk to other transplant recipients on a one-to-one basis over the phone. You can talk about any subject you want and get advice on how to deal with it.
Online forums could be more suitable for you if you don’t like the idea of sharing your concerns in a face to face support group. You can take your time and be as involved in the discussion as you like. Some people take great comfort in reading about the experiences of other people without feeling like they need to contribute themselves.
On the Anthony Nolan Patients and Families forum you can read and talk about a wide range of topics related to stem cell transplants. More general subjects on living with cancer and cancer treatments, that could also be relevant to you, are discussed on the Macmillan online forum.
Various charities fund purpose-built cancer centres with the aim of supporting patients and their families. They are often found in the grounds of hospitals and provide a calm and tranquil place for cancer patients to focus on their recovery. They are run by specially trained health professionals who can help you with many topics including nutrition, financial advice and emotional support. They also provide recreational classes, professional talks and support groups.
More information on Macmillan Cancer Environments and Maggie’s Cancer Centres can be found on their websites. Maggie’s also provides valuable online support for people who don’t live close to one of their centres.
Please note that most cancer centres are only able to support patients who have had a stem cell transplant to treat a blood cancer. If you had a transplant to treat a blood disorder, unfortunately these services won’t be available.
British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) 01455 88 33 00
Information about counselling and therapists in your area.
Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT)
Allows patients to self-refer to NHS funded counselling and therapy services available in their local area.
Macmillan Cancer Support 0808 808 0000
Practical, financial and emotional support for people with cancer, their family and friends.
Maggie’s 0300 123 1801
Maggie’s helps anyone affected by cancer. You can talk to and get support from a range of professionals in any topic related to your treatment or recovery.
Mind 0300 123 3393
Provides information and support for any mental health related issue.
Relate 0300 100 1234
Information, advice, relationship counselling and sex therapy.
Samaritans 116 123
Offers a confidential free helpline where you can talk about anything that is concerning you, 24 hours a day.