The Bubbleheads

How Wessex Cancer Trust helped me to rebuild my life

Loving life
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“Sitting in an unfamiliar room looking into the eyes of an unfamiliar face, I heard the words no one wants to hear…

You have cancer

Six years ago, I, Nikki Piper, now 37, was diagnosed with an extremely rare type of cancer called Pseudomyxoma Peritonei. Originating in the appendix, it spread like a jelly through my abdomen and endangered my life.

I had just got married and was looking forward to planning the rest of my life with my new husband, James.

Life-saving surgery

Immediate major surgery was required and after nine and a half hours I emerged from theatre without my appendix, large intestine, gall bladder, spleen, part of my diaphragm, some of my stomach, part of my bowel and sadly, my womb and ovaries.

Life as I knew it, was never going to be the same again.

Who can help?

Both James, my husband and I, knew that we would not be able to live the lives we had dreamed of. Dreams had been replaced with a reality that neither of us could easily accept and we found it difficult to know where to look for help.

We were eventually guided towards a local cancer charity, Wessex Cancer Trust that welcomed and supported those affected by cancer diagnosis in the Wessex area.

Support from Wessex

Wessex Cancer Trust offered James and I a safe space to come and get away from our daily routines. Located in Chandler’s Ford, the centre itself is a relaxing space with plenty of tea, coffee and biscuits to see you through a catch up with family, friends or one of the hospitable ‘befrienders’.

The team at Wessex has helped make the unthinkable bearable.

The healing process

Between multiple hospital visits and on-going treatment, finding time for yourself can prove challenging. The door to Wessex is never closed and James and I are welcome at the centre any time. Once a month I visit the centre to receive a complimentary therapy treatment.

Reflexology with Michelle is really helpful. Being in my own space allows my mind to slow down and to worry less about what will happen in the future.

Whenever I visit, the centre is often busy with people who are also seeking support from Wessex and whether you are there to talk to a befriender or to sit and reflect in the quiet area, you can visit as often as you like.

What does Wessex offer?

Wessex Cancer Trust helps and supports anyone affected by cancer regardless of age, gender or type of cancer.  Their dedicated team are committed to offering free support for as long as people need it, away from a hospital environment.

At all of their cancer Support Centres, you are welcomed by volunteer befrienders who are there to provide information, support and, most importantly, a listening ear. A team of specialist counsellors are on hand help deal with the emotional impact of cancer, and complementary therapies which aim to improve well-being, help with pain management and increase self-confidence. 

Anyone affected by cancer is eligible for 12 complimentary sessions from the team of professionals. These sessions include:

  • Massage
  • Reflexology
  • Aromatherapy
  • Yoga and Meditation
  • Reiki
  • Counselling

They also offer professional counselling for children affected by cancer and have a separate room for them to enjoy games, toys and books.

Wessex Cancer Trust constantly update their website to inform everyone of latest fundraising events and ways in which you can support the charity.

Why support our campaign?

The Bubbleheads are rowing the Atlantic to help raise awareness and vital funds for Wessex Cancer Trust. All money raised throughout our campaign, will go towards helping Wessex fund and provide the incredible care and support to the 23,000 people diagnosed with cancer in Wessex every year.

Please help us make that happen by donating via our Just Giving page. 

Every pound received will make a difference to an individual, and their family and friends throughout their life-changing journey. 

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