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PLANETS have funded a psychotherapy programme, after a successful pilot course, to help NET patients see their diagnosis in a ‘new view’.
We all know that different people deal with their neuroendocrine cancer diagnosis very differently. Initially there are lots of scary tests and Doctor appointments. Then there are lots of talk about treatments some will be done now and some in the future. Some people seem to cope very well and take a very pragmatic approach. They will collect all medical records. They then spend many hours trailing the internet looking for information. Some then go on and write international blogs about their cancer. Some set up a brilliant charity and raise millions of pounds to help others Some use intense exercise to drive away the “cancer demons”. However some require a little more support. They attend PLANETS support meetings and find solace with other people that also have Neuroendocrine cancer. They also take comfort that they themselves may be able to help someone else that is having a tough time. Unfortunately there are also those who don’t feel they can do any of these things. They are at times caught up with such fear and doubt that they can’t seem to find a way through.
PLANETS again have funded the New View Programme after a successful pilot course which patients found extremely useful. The aim of this programme is to address the issues that people are struggling with most. It touches on diet, money fatigue etc but also aims to bring other issues to the surface such as isolation fear and struggling to live a normal life. Karen Ainsbury (Psychotherapist) Ruth Lee, Emma Ramsey and myself met with 6 people who have told me recently that they are struggling to cope with their NETS. Discussions where open and honest aiming to get people to open up about how they truly feel. People discussed feelings of guilt to their families for being ill. Others found it difficult to tell people what is wrong with them. Some said that they felt sad or even angry about friends that had deserted them when they told them about their NETs. Karen spoke in depth about how our brains work and why we all struggle to cope in day to day situations in a state of high stress anxiety or fear.
Karen then spoke about techniques that can be used in order to reduce stress levels allowing our brains to function better. Techniques such as mindfulness, gentle exercise, tai chi, yoga and also suggested Pilates. Feedback from the 6 people invited are extremely positive so we hope to do more of these sessions in the future both here in Dorset and across the Wessex network.
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