| Mar 6, 2023
A Purple Jewel on a Rocky Road
This is Jane's Story, a client at Purple House.
In 2021, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was 46, having recently increased my exercise, I was enjoying a return to fitness that had been prevalent in my youth.
The day I was informed that I had cancer, I couldn’t manage to say the word ‘cancer’ out loud. I was so shocked. I became acutely anxious and scared for myself and my family. Our children were young, I didn’t know how I’d inform them of my news let alone help them continue ‘as normal’ with their lives, our lives as a family. At the time, I felt hugely grateful for my family, friends, GPs, and medical team that were there to support me. However, nothing seemed to settle the chronic fear and anxiety that had set in.
Previously, throughout the village, close to where I live, I had noticed collection boxes for ‘Purple House’. I understood it to be a place that supported those affected by cancer. Little did I know the important role such a place would play for me. My family encouraged me to contact Purple House once my treatment started. I can recall my first contact on the phone with one of their counsellors. I immediately felt comfortable to speak openly about what I was thinking, how I was feeling. She gently suggested I try some of the classes; the relaxation class seemed like a good starting point.
It was during COVID, so the class was online, which really worked for me. In the early days of treatment, I would have found it challenging to attend a class in person, partly due to fatigue, but I also felt uncomfortable within myself. I benefited hugely from attending the weekly relaxation class. I soon began to understand ‘relaxation’ as a skill to be practiced and improved upon. After each class, no matter how I was feeling beforehand, I would feel a sense of serenity. Slowly, I started to learn how to integrate this knowledge into my day-to-day living. The ripple effect extended beyond the class, beyond cancer, into my home and the journey I was on.
As I endeavoured to navigate this journey ahead, Purple House became my compass that guided me through the highs and lows of the cancer journey. Medically speaking, I soon became aware that cancer treatment plans are bespoke. I promptly changed my perspective from being a passive patient to an active participant in the process. I also grew to realise that I had to explore what would work for me, to support myself holistically on this journey. It was at this juncture that Purple House became my jewel on a rocky road.
Throughout my treatment and thereafter I have attended mainly the relaxation class, but I have also hugely benefited from one-to-one counselling, reflexology, and yoga classes. I have also attended informative talks hosted by Purple House with invited specialists regarding cancer and self-care. There are many options available at Purple House including therapies for the body and mind, creative activities, and physical exercise classes, all coexisting in a beautiful building with friendly staff and volunteers that are experts in care.
Thank you, Purple House.