“We had fought my previous cancer diagnosis alone, but this time we knew we needed help”
Lawrence Stewart is a Dad of two from West Lothian and shares his story.
I have been unlucky or lucky enough, depending on which way you look at it, to have been diagnosed with cancer 13 times and each time I have beaten it. However, there were some very scary times when I didnt think I would.
In 2005 I went to hospital in Edinburgh to get test results with my wife who was pregnant with our second child. We were told that I would live to see my child being born but not much longer than that.
I had a tumour on my brain and was told Id live a maximum of 6 months. I remember walking out the consultants room, my wife trying to take my hand. I couldnt let her because I knew I would breakdown. When I got outside my legs buckled and I collapsed. Someone had to get me a wheelchair as I couldnt move.
It was a very scary time. We had fought my previous cancer diagnosis just the two of us, we didnt even tell my family as we didnt want people to worry, but this time we knew we needed help.
While I was in the Western General hospital a nurse advised my wife to pop into the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at the hospital. She found this really helpful as she had somewhere to go to talk about how she was feeling and I felt better knowing she had someone to talk to while I was getting surgery.
I want to make sure anyone going through what I did gets the support they deserve from Macmillan.
I was a Bank Manager at the time earning a good salary but being so unwell with the cancer I had to take early retirement. I loved my job and the financial worry was the most concerning thing for us.
We had no idea that cancer was registered disability and that I was entitled to benefits. Apart from when I had surgery and chemo I felt fine so I didnt think I deserved it. The team at the Macmillan Centre advised us to see one of the Macmillan Benefits Advisors and they took care of everything, they still do to this day.
I honestly dont know what we would have done without them. Thats why I now use my spare time to support Macmillan. I want to make sure anyone going through what I did gets the support they deserve from Macmillan.
Macmillan is here for you. Visit your local Macmillan Information and Support Centre:
Western General Hospital
South Corridor, Crewe Road, Edinburgh
0131 537 3907
1 Hailesland Road, Edinburgh
0131 442 3126
The West Lothian Cancer Information and Support Centre
Carmondean Connected, Livingston, West Lothian
01506 777 604
For more about Macmillan and the services we offer, call the Macmillan Support Line free on: 0808 808 00 00
or visit www.macmillan.org.uk
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