17 December 2020
It helps to talk. Recovery is a gradual process, filled with mental obstacles that are so much tougher when dealt with alone. When we talk, our anxieties don’t just belong to us anymore, but our friends and our peers who offer to share those worries with us. By taking them on together, we don’t feel so lonely, and the obstacles don’t feel so insurmountable.
These conversations are happening on Trust trips, but for the first time, they happened online too as part of this year’s Virtual Summer. Bringing together those with lived experiences and healthcare professionals, our Conversation About… series is an opportunity to talk about those big topics.
So far, those topics have included nutrition, survivor’s guilt, and fertility, with another about body image planned for the new year. These conversations came about after feedback from young people showed what they’d miss this year without Trust trips. Those weeks away bring together young people who have a shared experience, which leads to them opening up about things they may never have talked about before. Even in a year we couldn’t be together in person, it was essential those conversations continued.
Ed Yelland, who came to the Trust while in recovery from testicular cancer and now volunteers on trips, attended the Conversation About… on fertility. He said: “It was really interesting and answered a lot of questions I’d thought about for many years. Having my particular cancer has affected my fertility in a big way. It was great to hear people talk about all the same fears I’ve had and have some of those fears allayed or just have some comfort in hearing others talk about it. When I saw it advertised, I thought, that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for.”
Ahead of a session she will be co-leading on body image, Sarah Dransfield talked about how important these conversations are: “What helped me on the way was my family and friends, they were brilliant. Without them, I don't think I could have done it. But apart from that I also made friends through different groups, and through the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust. And by talking to them, meeting new people, seeing people going from where they were to where I wanted to be was an inspiration.”
It has been fantastic to see so many people show up for these Conversation About… sessions. Keep an eye on our social media and sign up to our newsletter at the bottom of this page to stay up to date with plans for Conversation About... in the new year.