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Stories of Hope

Wendy and James – Client and Carer

Many people do not realise that Cancer Wellness Support also extends its therapies and programs to the loved ones and carers of a person living with cancer. Wendy (member/client) and James (member/carer) have experienced this incredible support firsthand.

James, who was already acquainted with our founder Robyn Yates OAM, was the bridge that led Wendy to Cancer Wellness Support. 

On Wendy’s first visit, Robyn presented her with a giant box of wigs. Wendy found one that resonated with her – a blonde angled bob reminiscent of her childhood hair colour. The wig not only provided her with a new look but also a renewed sense of confidence. Robyn gifted Wendy the wig, a stand and shampoo, setting the tone for the compassionate care that would follow.

Robyn then asked Wendy about her favourite colours, and returned with a handmade patchwork quilt featuring the warm vibrant hues of reds and purples that Wendy loved. This rug became Wendy’s companion during her chilly chemotherapy sessions, offering both physical and emotional warmth. 

Wendy’s initial whirlwind of treatments left little room for anything else. The hospital environment was overwhelming, and Wendy couldn’t fully comprehend the gravity of her situation. As her treatment plan grew longer, she grappled with the uncertainty of her stage 2 diagnosis.

It was at this point that Wendy and James decided to further explore the offerings at Cancer Wellness Support. Group discussions, gentle exercise, dietary sessions and a supportive community became their lifeline. Here, they felt like they could share their fears and hopes.

Wendy emphasises that the impact of cancer extends far beyond the individual person. Life changes, and many things will never be the same. Her energy-draining medication post-treatment was challenging, and having James as her unwavering support was a blessing. 

Experiencing full-body lymphoedema, Wendy found relief in lymphoedema massage – a therapy often unaffordable and hard to get into elsewhere. James, who was managing his own serious health issues while supporting Wendy, found solace in counselling provided by Cancer Wellness Support. To this day, Wendy and James both enjoy attending gentle yoga sessions together, nurturing not only their bodies but also their minds.

Wendy and James have witnessed the mental challenges of many others living with cancer. They appreciate the whole person approach at Cancer Wellness Support spanning counselling, art therapy, meditation or whatever is needed at that point in time. 

Wendy and James reciprocate the love they’ve received from Cancer Wellness Support by providing musical entertainment and donating to fundraisers and op shops. Wendy, a theatre organist, and James, who plays percussion, ukulele and provides vocals, bring their talents to brighten the lives of others.

For Wendy, Cancer Wellness Support is a sanctuary where she feels safe and heard. The attentiveness of the staff, therapists and volunteers makes her feel less alone, and she values the shared experiences of the community. 

For James, Cancer Wellness Support has been a lifeline, nurturing his mental wellbeing which is often overlooked during caregiving.

Wendy and James strongly believe in the power of connection and have created lifelong friends at Cancer Wellness Support. They emphasise the importance of taking it one day at a time and surrounding yourself with people who will stand by your side through every step of the journey.

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