Luke on getting support

Luke is sat in the garden with his son on his lap.

Luke already expected bad news when he was diagnosed with stage four bowel cancer. ‘I sort of knew what was coming.' Luke's Macmillan nurse, Theresa gave Luke the information and knowledge he needed to help him feel less scared and more positive.

'I’d say the advice Macmillan gave me saved my life.'

After the surgery I was assigned a Macmillan nurse, Theresa. I had two possible dates for my chemo – one in February and one in March. Theresa was very honest when I needed someone to be honest and she advised me to do the February one.

I think if the Macmillan nurse hadn’t helped me decide to take the earlier chemo date, then I might not be sitting here today - because there was a month’s difference. I’m massively grateful.

I’d say the advice Macmillan gave me saved my life in terms of me getting the chemo more quickly. Definitely.

Theresa came to the house a couple of times for a cup of tea and a chat. It was just nice to get her advice because I didn’t know anything about cancer or about all the different types of treatment and chemotherapy.

It was good just to have someone there on the end of the phone in case I had any questions about anything.

Obviously my family were there for support, but you do need someone with a good level of knowledge on cancer.

'She got to know me and who I was.'

Theresa was brilliant in that she was very honest when I kind of needed an honest answer. She knew that I needed to hear the truth so didn’t beat around the bush.

I used the Macmillan website. After I got up, the first thing I’d usually do was go on the computer.

I got support from the Macmillan centre in Southend. They helped me get a grant for my car tax and helped me try to claim disability benefits. Because I didn’t have any money. I was desperate.

I remember the lady at the centre helped me fill out a form. It was crazily thick. It was nice that Macmillan took the time because a 40-page form took a while to fill out.

Without Macmillan, I think there would be a lot of scared people. There were times when I was scared. When I didn’t really know what would happen. But the information I got from Macmillan comforted me. I had that knowledge of what was to come.

The doctors gave me great advice but it was all very methodical and practical, whereas with my Macmillan nurse it was more personal. She got to know me and who I was.