At the moment you may need different types of support, both physical and emotional. Make sure you ask for help as and when you need it, no matter how big or small the help you need is. You can seek support from family or friends, or from your health care team. You may not need anything immediately, but this section can help to direct you in case you need support in the future. The types and levels of support will vary with time as you continue on your journey with cancer.
You can be referred to any of the following services via the hospital where you received your treatment or by your GP:
- Pain clinics
- Occupational therapy
- Social services
- Complementary therapies
- Welfare rights advice.
You can also use local support, such as your District Nurse and, where applicable, a Community Nurse or local Hospice Nurse. If you have a good relationship with your Gynaecological-Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist (GCNS)/Key Worker or your GP, please do talk to them about your options so that you can get more support as and when you need it. In the hospital it is better to see and talk with the GCNS outside of the busy outpatients’ clinic and to chose a time and place that suits you.
Form information on other organisations that can offer you support please visit our useful links page.
Referral to a hospice
If you have not been referred already, you might want to consider a referral to your local hospice or community palliative care team. Palliative care, which is sometimes known as end of life care, takes a holistic approach to care, for both mind and body, which can be given at any point after diagnosis. The input from the palliative care team may change as your symptoms and difficulties change.
Whilst it is true that some people choose to spend their last days in a hospice, people who are active and well may also benefit from therapeutic services that are given to outpatients, such as massage or counselling.
At a hospice you can access pain management teams who are experts in helping to reduce your pain symptoms and improve your quality of life.
The hospice can:
- Provide you with a team of highly specialised professionals, including specialist nurses and doctors who will support you and answer your questions about treatment
- Help you access Hospice Nurses who are very experienced in supporting women and their families, and they can help with issues such as managing your relationships, which can be understandably strained at this time. Your GCNS or palliative care team can assist in facilitating conversations if you or your family are finding this difficult. This can include talking to children about your diagnosis and helping to support them during this difficult time
- Offer the opportunity for you to visit for the day and they may also have a ‘Hospice at Home’ service that provides support in your home, which also gives your family/carers a rest
- Help you find other services, such as financial or social support.