Older People Living with Cancer

Peer advocates supporting older people affected by cancer

Barrie’s story

1 Comment

Barrie attended one of our Cancer, Older People and Advocacy project workshops at the recent Macmillan Cancer Voices Conference. Here he tells his story, gives us all food for thought and certainly impresses on us why advocacy support is and can be so vital:

I am a 68 year old man
I live on my own
In 2006 I was diagnosed with Stage 4  throat cancer
this entailed having my voice box removed and radio therapy for a few weeks
I no longer speak through my mouth but through my throat, using a plastic valve inserted in Larynx
It is very difficult and sometimes impossible to use a phone.
I was told there were benefits available for me.
Sitting in council offices was bad and a waste of time. The staff treated me, due to my ‘strange voice’ as retarded.
I had an IQ of 146
I ended up with a lot of throat infection.
In those early days I wish I had had Advocacy help and new patients have the same problem.
I was told by a Citizens Advice Bureau advisor that help was still available and for me to give them a ring, I call this the circle of confusion
Now I don’t ask anyone for help, If I cannot deal with it myself or through the computer I don’t bother.
But others need help.
Barrie

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Author: Marie McWilliams

OPAAL's National Development Officer

One thought on “Barrie’s story

  1. Barrie, please don’t go it alone anymore. after a year of doing the same I now have an advocate and I cannot express in words the difference this has made emotionally physically and practically. its never too late Rosie with light love and peace

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