Here at Nottingham University Hospitals, we are proud to have an on-site Maggie’s Centre.
Maggie’s is a charity, providing free cancer support and information in centres across the UK and online.
Maggie’s Nottingham supports patients and families affected by cancer. The Nottingham team is made up of Cancer Support Specialists, Clinical Psychologists, Cancer Support Workers and Benefits Advisors. A calming space with a bespoke design; in harmony with the treetop setting it sits in at our City Hospital site, patients and families are invited to “just come in”. It’s a relaxed, safe space.
Offering both 1-2-1 support, as well as group activities and support groups, such as Men’s Support Group, Bereavement Support Group (which are both currently running online), Maggie’s welcomes people with open arms to come in for a cup of tea, to meet people who understand what they are going through or to just take a moment to breathe, gather thoughts and process the situation.
Dave, one of our Sarcoma patients shares his diagnosis journey and story with us, and how Maggie’s Nottingham has supported him.
Here is Dave's story:
“The first time I noticed something was wrong was when a lump on my foot, just above my little toe, started changing. That was three years ago in 2017. I noticed that this lump was gradually getting larger, which was odd as it’s a lump I’ve had since I was a teenager and had been told back then it was a ganglion.
The Doctor I initially saw said that sometimes these things can start to grow, that any operation would be difficult, and that I should come back if it gets bigger and starts to rub. And it did. I’m a runner, and it started to rub on my shoes. So after a few months I asked for referral to have it removed."
At the Hospital:
"I went to the hospital for an X-ray with a specialist, who referred me for an MRI scan.
I was told that although it was not a ganglion, it wasn’t yet known what it was. More phone calls led to more scans, and soon I was turning up for appointments in areas of the hospital with leaflets for cancer.
I looked up the name of the Consultant I was due to see and found they specialised in Oncology and Plastic Surgery. So, I thought maybe that’s why I’m here, the size of the lump meant plastic surgery.
However, I was told it was a sarcoma, which came as a bit of a shock. At the diagnosis meeting, one of the options put to me for treatment was a below-knee amputation –another shock. As a triathlete, I didn’t want this option. So I pursued radiotherapy, and a smaller operation."
"I went to Maggie’s Nottingham to try and make sense of some of this stuff.
I was welcomed in, had a chat, and made to feel welcome. But I felt like a bit of a fraud; after all, I was only having radiotherapy not heavy chemotherapy. The staff in the centre were really kind, saying radiotherapy was just as much real treatment as any other and that I needed to be careful and kind to myself.
I had the operation, which was successful and I then didn’t need to spend so much time at the centre. In fact, I moved on from cancer."
"I had pain in my lower back last year, and scans showed the cancer had spread into my pelvis and femur. Myself and my wife decided to go back to Maggie’s where Annie, the Centre Head sat us down with a cup of tea and helped us to make sense of what was likely to happen with the new diagnosis and treatment.
This time I was facing radiotherapy and chemotherapy, which I was much more concerned about – as chemotherapy felt like a big deal. But even then, this time the radiotherapy was going to be more intrusive; focused, as it was across my midriff - with the effects being much greater.
Going into Maggie’s and having that conversation was really nice. To be able to talk to somebody who had direct experience working with people with cancer and dealing with it, who knew the terminology and the treatment - that was very comforting.”
Maggie’s Nottingham are still open. They know how hard life is at the moment, but they're here to help. The centre is open (following all guidelines) and also accessible by phone, email and online:
0115 924 6210