Coping Strategies

First, we should like to reassure readers that NHS treatment in Scotland is as good as anywhere in the world, and patients can rest assured that they will be looked after properly.

We believe it’s important that after treatment you should try to continue to live as normal a life as possible. Hopefully, the members of your family will be your greatest source of practical and emotional support, but you should remember that even your carers will need carers from time to time. Make sure that those who are closest to you still have a chance to keep in touch with their friends and can participate in the activities that they enjoy. The same is, of course, true for you, too. If you cannot get out of the house, at least invite friends round for a coffee – as often as possible! So far as practicable, try to keep doing the things that you would ordinarily have done. But take things one day at a time – don’t worry about tomorrow’s problems until tomorrow! If progress towards recovery seems to be taking forever, start keeping a diary – you’ll be surprised, looking back, at how far you’ve progressed.

In Scotland, the NHS aims to provide a co-ordinated, single source of quality-assured health and care information. This on-line service is called “NHS inform”. If you go its Support Services Directory page, and search for ‘cancer care’ in ‘Edinburgh’, for example, you’ll be shown a list of both local and nation-wide organisations that should be able to help you.

There are numerous charities and patient groups that help and support cancer sufferers. Three of the largest charities are Macmillan Cancer Support, Marie Curie Cancer Care , and Maggie’s. Coping with the emotional effects of cancer can be very difficult. Macmillan Cancer Support offers particularly useful assistance, including people to whom you can always speak by phone, and the option to use Skype. As the name suggests, Marie Curie Cancer Care is concerned particularly with the day-to-day, practical aspects of living with cancer. Maggie’s Centres are intended for anyone with any type of cancer and their families and friends, offering the practical, emotional and social support. There may well be a Centre near you.

Members of Facebook may want to join the illustrious group of “Whipple Warriors” – a relatively new page set up for the benefit of those who have been through this operation, and either wish to get advice from people in the same position as themselves, or to share their experiences and offer advice to others.

The large, UK-wide pancreatic cancer charities include:

And, of course, you are more than welcome to contact us at any time! You are not alone.