Hope for people affected by cancer

Fiona Terrins outside beside tree


Two years on from being diagnosed with breast cancer, Fiona Terrins is looking to the future, thanks to a Macmillan Cancer Support self management course.

After she finished her treatment, Fiona spotted an advertisement for the Hope programme, designed to help people affected by cancer. It offers a chance to meet other patients and share experiences.

Almost a year had passed since her diagnosis and Fiona  says the course couldn’t have started at a better time for her:

I was already well on the road to recovery.  I was singing in two local choirs twice a week but this was an opportunity to mix with people like me.

“Some people were just starting treatment.  Others had finished.  We were all different ages and from different backgrounds but we all had one thing in common: cancer.

“There was no ‘putting on a brave face’ to protect our families.  We could all open up and have conversations we simply couldn’t have had at home. It was an opportunity to open up and be honest with yourself.

Fiona had been for a routine mammogram in 2012 but, twelve months later, had found a lump.  Tests revealed she had developed a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer which required surgery, followed by gruelling sessions of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

The 54-year-old working mum says:

I was totally stressed out. I was a single mother with a son sitting A’Levels and my full time job felt like a seven-day-week commitment, not five.  That’s fine when you have lots of energy, like I used to, but that was the first thing I lost.  Energy.

I decided to leave work.  And, now that I’m back to my old self, I think it was the right decision. I’ve had some job offers but I’m looking for something that’s right for me now.  I’m looking after myself.”

“Most of the group on our Hope course have stayed in touch and I’m now in the process of ringing everyone to arrange a get together.  Not a support group – that’s not for me.  It’s a catch up with friends.” 

Macmillan is running a special one-day Hope session on March 11th , starting at 10am in the Macmillan Information and Support Centre at Belfast City Hospital.  To sign up, or find out more, contact Julie Hill via email atnilearning@macmillan.org.uk or telephone the Macmillan Belfast office on: 028 9070 8610.

Love Belfast
Belfast guide to restaurants, bars, nightclubs, concerts, events, hotels, entertainment, special offers, news, gossip, travel, festivals and culture. http://lovebelfast.co.uk

Related Articles

Macmillan Cancer Support Case study: Alan McCausland

M&S is supporting Macmillan Cancer Support for the ninth consecutive year as a headline partner on the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. The money raised...

The most iconic caterpillar gets ‘Macmillan makeover’ to help raise funds for World’s Biggest Coffee Morning event

Everyone’s favourite cake Colin the Caterpillar has been given an extra special ‘Macmillan makeover’ to help raise funds for Macmillan Cancer Support’s World’s Biggest...


The Belfast Giants are encouraging local people to take ‘giant steps’ this September to support local children with cancer, and their families. Cancer Fund for...

Stay Connected

- Advertisement -

Latest Articles


In an on-going commitment to excellence, Andras Hotels, has completed a full lobby ‘New Generation Concept’ upgrade at the Holiday Inn® Express in the culmination...

Nearly one in ten Brits find happiness in ditching the daily commute

Cities happiest about saving money on commuting during lockdown revealed Londoners will spend over £223,906² on commuting in their careers Nearly one in ten...

Lidl Northern Ireland to Launch First Ever Own-Brand Range of Super Fairtrade Chocolate Bars

Lidl Northern Ireland Partners with Fairtrade to Further Invest in Sustainable Cocoa Cultivation by Paying Additional Premium Lidl Northern Ireland is launching an exciting new...

Ways to Spot a Good Job Opportunity

It can be a minefield out there when it comes to looking for a new career opportunity, especially when looking for one that not...

The University Of Wonder and Imagination To Bring The Magic Of Theatre Into Irish Homes

Ground-breaking immersive digital show by children’s theatre company Cahoots NI set to delight Irish audiences Children’s theatre company Cahoots NI has launched an immersive digital...