A woman who has directly benefited from CancerCare’s services spoke about her experiences at a special fundraising quiz at Pizza Margherita in Lancaster.
Meriel Lobley from Lancaster, who has inoperable cancer, said the Arty Quiz was good fun and she was also happy to share why she thought it was worthwhile supporting CancerCare.
She said: “Half way through the quiz I spoke about what the charity has done for me.
“I emphasised that it’s not just for the person who has cancer – it’s for their loved ones as well.
“I have been going to CancerCare for a few years and I’ve done a bit of fundraising including a clothes swap.”
Meriel, who worked in Adult Literacy at the Adult College in Lancaster before it closed, first found out that she had cancer after a routine operation to remove a cyst at a hospital in Leeds.
She explained: “They removed half my liver and they thought they had removed all of the cancer.
“After the surgery my posture wasn’t very good so I did the Alexander Technique at CancerCare. That really helped me.
“A while later I had another operation and they found cancer in other places. I got referred to Lancaster for chemotherapy, at which point I had weekly aromatherapy which was very helpful.
“The chemo seemed to have stopped the cancer but a year and a half later it came back and I started another lot of chemo. There was some cancer in my liver and some in my stomach lining.
“Then I was told, they were sorry but there was nothing else they could do. I’m now trying alternatives and am keeping as fit as possible.
“My case was particularly difficult because it was a ‘carcinoma of unknown primary’ (when cancer cells are found in the body but the place the cancer originated is not known).
“I saw a counsellor at CancerCare at that time. When you get that bad news you don’t necessarily want to talk to family and friends. The first time I saw the counsellor I just sat and cried.
“However, after a few very helpful sessions, I felt I didn’t need to go any more.”
Meriel said that events such as the Arty Quiz at Pizza Margherita help to raise awareness of what CancerCare does.
“Awareness is very important and helps people to talk about this difficult subject,” she added.