Are you feeling the cold more because of a cancer diagnosis?

Karen Robert 3

Karen Roberts, Chief of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals

We’ve been working with npower for 13 years to help people living with cancer to keep warm without worrying about the cost.

 

Karen Roberts, Chief of Nursing and Allied Health Professionals at Macmillan Cancer Support gives her top tips on how to stay warm:

  1. First off, layer your clothes and cover yourself with a quilt or blanket when resting
  2. Remember to keep your feet up off the floor to avoid draughts
  3. Make sure you’re wearing some thick woolly socks and slippers – thermal socks are great
  4. Keep your head warm with a hat, especially if you’re outside – this is really important if you lose your hair with treatment
  5. An electric blanket is cosy and comforting and can help you get back off to sleep – modern blankets are safe and affordable too
  6. Speak to the professionals on Macmillan’s Support Line – we have our own Energy Advice Team which is supported by npower and specialises in helping with heating costs
  7. Contact npower directly if you’re a customer – through our partnership they might be able to support you in many ways such as capping your heating bills.

If you’re living with cancer and struggling to pay your energy bills, visit macmillan.org.uk/keepwarm to find out how we can help.

Contact Macmillan’s Support Line directly on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am-8pm).

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Ydych chi’n teimlo’r oerfel yn waeth oherwydd diagnosis o ganser?

Karen Robert 3

Karen Roberts, Pennaeth Nyrsio a Gweithwyr Proffesiynol Perthynol i Iechyd yng Nghymorth Canser Macmillan

Rydym wedi bod yn gweithio gydag npower ers 13 o flynyddoedd i helpu pobl sydd yn byw gyda chanser i gadw’n gynnes heb boeni am y gost.

 

Mae Karen Roberts, Pennaeth Nyrsio a Gweithwyr Proffesiynol Perthynol i Iechyd yng Nghymorth Canser Macmillan yn rhoi awgrymiadau defnyddiol ynghylch sut i gadw’n gynnes:

  1. I ddechrau, gwisgwch haenau a gorchuddiwch eich hun â chwilt neu flanced tra’n gorffwys
  2. Cofiwch gadw eich traed i fyny oddi ar y llawr er mwyn osgoi drafft
  3. Gwnewch yn siŵr eich bod yn gwisgo sanau gwlân trwchus a sliperi – mae sanau thermol yn wych
  4. Cadwch eich pen yn gynnes gyda het, yn arbennig os ydych yn yr awyr agored – mae hyn yn bwysig iawn os byddwch yn colli eich gwallt oherwydd y driniaeth
  5. Mae blanced drydan yn esmwyth ac yn gysurus a gall eich helpu i fynd yn ôl i gysgu – mae blancedi modern yn ddiogel ac yn fforddiadwy hefyd
  6. Siaradwch â’r gweithwyr proffesiynol ar Linell Gymorth Macmillan – mae gennym ein Tîm Cyngor ar Ynni ein hunain a gefnogir gan npower ac sy’n arbenigo yn helpu gyda chostau gwresogi
  7. Cysylltwch ag npower yn uniongyrchol os ydych yn gwsmer – trwy ein partneriaeth gallant eich cefnogi mewn sawl ffordd fel capio eich biliau gwresogi.

Os ydych yn byw gyda chanser ac yn cael anhawster yn talu eich biliau ynni, ewch i macmillan.org.uk/keepwarm i ganfod sut y gallwn ni helpu.

Cysylltwch â Llinell Gymorth Macmillan yn uniongyrchol ar 0808 808 00 00 (Dydd Llun i Ddydd Gwener, 9am-8pm).

An open door to anyone affected by cancer – meet the cancer information and support team at Withybush Hospital in Haverfordwest

Rachel Kersey and Helen Wood are both Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Coordinators at the Macmillan Information and Support Centre in Withybush Hospital in Pembrokeshire.

As part of Cancer Talk Week we spoke to Rachel, Helen, and centre volunteer Jo Bowen, about the vital service they provide to people affected by cancer.

About the Centre

Rachel explains: “The centre is accessible to anyone and we welcome anyone affected by cancer to come in and ask us questions.

Rachel showing leaflet to visitor 4

Rachel Kersey with a visitor

“That could be a patient themselves, or it could be their husband, or their wife, or their partner, a carer, a friend, a family member, it could be a next-door neighbour, it could be absolutely anyone affected by cancer.

“The centre is open 5 days a week; half past 9 until half past 12 and then half past 1 until half past 4.

“We’re right at the front of the hospital, and as people are coming in for appointments, or they’re leaving after an appointment, very often that is the point when somebody will have a question.”

Talking about Cancer

Rachel and Helen can offer a friendly chat with anyone who would like to talk through their worries or concerns, as Helen explains below:

Helen outside

Helen Wood

“One of the biggest things I have found since being here at the centre, is that people just need to talk. The emotions that are associated with cancer can be quite daunting for them.

“I think the main thing for us is to be able to listen; to be able to sit down and talk to them and listen to what is important to them.

“Even just talking to them for that short period of time can make such a difference to them, and often they’ll come back and let us know which is one of the fantastic things about it.”

Rachel talked us through the advice she gives people who want to support a loved one living with cancer:

“I’ve found since I’ve been in the job that a lot of people just don’t know how to start the conversations about talking about cancer.

“For instance, if it was a family member, or a friend, they know that they want to help that person but they just don’t know how to start that conversation.

“And I just say ‘well you know, talk to them as you would normally talk to them and just say ‘well we want to try and help so just explain exactly how you’re feeling’ and I’ve found that’s a very good starting point and often the conversations will lead on from that.”

Extra Help

Jo holding leaflet 2

Jo Bowen

Jo volunteers at the centre to help Rachel and Helen provide this vital support service: I do all sort of odd jobs for Rachel and Helen – I support the coordinators in what they do. I enjoy using the computer and I enjoy sorting out all the leaflets.

“If people come in or call up, I can signpost them, for example, to the local Macmillan Welfare Benefits Advisor, or I can refer them back to Helen or Rachel when they’re here.”

Coming to the centre

Rachel would like to encourage anyone who would like to talk about cancer, to come down to the centre and have a chat with the team:

“We’re here, we’re accessible, we’re not part of a healthcare team, so we’re not taking up precious time in a clinical environment.

“We’re not a family member, or a trusted friend who they may not want to burden with how they’re feeling or their worries.

“I think just coming in and talking to somebody who’s not closely linked with them, it just gives them that safe space to just explore how they’re feeling and work through their thoughts and feelings.”

Jo, Helen and Rachel

Drws agored i unrhyw un sydd wedi’i effeithio gan ganser – dewch i gwrdd â’r tîm gwybodaeth a chymorth ynghylch canser yn Ysbyty Llwynhelyg, Hwlffordd.

Mae Rachel Kersey a Helen Wood ill dwy yn Gydlynwyr Gwybodaeth a Chymorth ynghylch Canser yng Nghanolfan Gwybodaeth a Chymorth Macmillan yn Ysbyty Llwyn Helyg yn Sir Benfro.

Fel rhan o Wythnos Sgwrsio am Ganser, fe wnaethom ni siarad â Rachel a Helen, a Jo Bowen, sy’n un o wirfoddolwyr y Ganolfan, am y gwasanaeth hanfodol a ddarperir ganddyn nhw i bobl sydd wedi’u heffeithio gan ganser.

Ynghylch y Ganolfan

Yn ôl Rachel: “Mae’r ganolfan ar gael i bawb ac rydym ni’n croesawu unrhyw un sydd wedi’u heffeithio gan ganser i ddod i mewn a gofyn cwestiynau i ni.

Rachel showing leaflet to visitor 4

Rachel Kersey

“Gallai hynny olygu’r claf ei hun, neu gŵr, gwraig, partner, gofalwr, ffrind, perthynas neu gymydog y claf, unrhyw un sydd wedi’i effeithio gan ganser.

“Mae’r ganolfan ar agor 5 diwrnod yr wythnos, o hanner awr wedi naw tan hanner awr wedi hanner dydd, ac yna o hanner awr wedi un tan hanner awr wedi pedwar.

“Rydym wrth ddrws ffrynt yr ysbyty, ac fel bydd pobl yn cyrraedd am apwyntiadau, neu’n gadael wedi apwyntiad, dyna’n aml iawn pryd bydd gan rywun gwestiwn.”

Siarad am Ganser

Gall Rachel a Helen gynnig sgwrs gyfeillgar i unrhyw sy’n dymuno trafod eu pryderon, fel mae yn egluro Helen isod:

Helen outside

Helen Wood

“Un o’r pethau mwyaf rwyf i wedi’u canfod ers cychwyn gweithio yma yn y ganolfan yw’r ffaith fod pobl yn dymuno siarad. Gall yr emosiynau sy’n gysylltiedig â chanser fod yn anodd iawn iddyn nhw.

“Rwy’n credu mai’r peth pwysicaf i ni yw gallu gwrando; gallu eistedd i lawr a siarad â nhw a gwrando ar beth bynnag sy’n bwysig iddyn nhw.

“Gall hyd yn oed siarad am ychydig wneud gwahaniaeth enfawr iddyn nhw, ac yn aml iawn, byddan nhw’n dychwelyd ac yn rhoi gwybod i ni, a dyna un o’r pethau sy’n wych am y gwaith.”

Esboniodd Rachel i ni beth yw’r cyngor y bydd hi’n ei roi i bobl sy’n dymuno cynorthwyo anwyliaid sy’n byw gyda chanser:

“Rwyf i wedi canfod ers cychwyn y gwaith fod llawer o bobl ddim yn gwybod sut i gychwyn sgyrsiau ynghylch siarad am ganser.

“Er enghraifft, yn achos perthynas neu’n ffrind, byddan nhw’n gwybod eu bod nhw’n dymuno helpu’r unigolyn, ond nid ydyn nhw’n gwybod sut i gychwyn y sgwrs.

“Ac fe fydda i’n dweud ‘wel, siaradwch â nhw yn y ffordd arferol a dywedwch ‘rydym ni’n dymuno ceisio helpu felly eglura sut yn union wyt ti’n teimlo’ ac rwyf i wedi canfod fod hynny’n fan cychwyn da iawn, ac yn aml iawn, bydd y sgyrsiau yn deillio o hynny.”

Help Ychwanegol

Jo holding leaflet 2

Jo Bowen

Bydd Jo yn gwirfoddoli yn y ganolfan i helpu Rachel a Helen i ddarparu’r gwasanaeth cymorth hanfodol hwn: Byddaf i’n gwneud pob mathau o dasgau i Rachel a Helen –byddaf i’n helpu’r cydlynwyr i wneud eu gwaith. Byddaf i’n mwynhau defnyddio’r cyfrifiadur a rhoi trefn ar yr holl daflenni .

 

“Os bydd pobl yn dod i mewn neu’n ffonio, gallaf i eu cyfeirio nhw, er enghraifft, at Gynghorydd Budd-daliadau lleol Macmillan, neu awgrymu eu bod nhw’n sgwrsio â Helen neu Rachel pan fyddan nhw yma.”

Ymweld â’r ganolfan

Hoffai Rachel annog unrhyw un sy’n dymuno siarad am ganser i ymweld â’r ganolfan a sgwrsio â’r tîm:

“Rydym ni ar gael, rydym ni’n hygyrch, nid ydym ni’n rhan o dîm gofal iechyd, felly nid ydym ni’n defnyddio amser gwerthfawr amgylchedd gofal iechyd.

“Nid ydym ni’n berthynas, neu’n ffrindiau y gallan hw ymddiried ynddyn nhw ond efallai nad ydyn nhw’n dymuno trosglwyddo baich eu teimladau neu eu pryderon iddyn nhw.

“Rwy’n credu fod galw heibio a sgwrsio â rhywun sydd heb gysylltiad agos yn rhoi lle diogel iddyn nhw ystyried eu teimladau a rhoi sylw i’w meddyliau a’u teimladau.”

Jo, Helen and Rachel

“If you don’t share this stuff, you’re not going to find the help that you need.” – Matt Batten’s Story

As part of Cancer Talk Week from 22 to 28 January 2018, we’re sharing Matt’s inspirational story. Matt was diagnosed with testicular cancer in June 2016 and finished chemotherapy in July 2017. During his experience of cancer, Matt found that talking about how he was feeling helped him to get the emotional support he needed.

Matt Batten

Matt Batten

Emotional impact after treatment

I didn’t tell anybody about this because I felt a bit guilty – like why would I tell friends and family I had cancer and was going through this because, what a burden to put on them. In hindsight that was the stupidest thing ever because then you’re on your own.

I think it took a couple of weeks later, couple of months later, for everything that I’d gone through to sort of, make me realise the big emotional impact this has had on me.

I’d been in work and I’d been struggling for a while, everything was just seeming too much and just one day I was in a meeting, had a phone call from the Doctor asking me to make an appointment and I was like ‘oh my gosh, what could this be’. It was just a check-up and I just started crying, so the Doctor signed me off and I had about 6 weeks off work.

I don’t know why, but I was feeling incredibly anxious about everything. The Doctor told me that it was a perfectly ordinary reaction to something as big as I’d gone through.

I think at that point it dawned on me that it was a big deal, and that’s when I phoned Macmillan.

Macmillan and other support

I was on the phone to Macmillan the person I spoke to asked when I was diagnosed and I told him about 2 or 3 months ago and that I should be over it by now. His response was ‘no, why would you, why would you think you should be over something like this so soon’.

I didn’t know as there’s no guide book to tell you what time scales and how you should be feeling, so you’re kind of on your own for that sort of thing and understanding how you’re feeling.

The support line was amazing, I have to say, the person I spoke to just normalised everything and said that not many people will feel the full effects straight away.

And that made me realise that actually it’s alright to feel sad, it’s alright not to be a hero, it’s perfectly normal to feel terribly sad about what’s happened.

I also found an online support group called Check ‘Em Lads, which is just men talking about their experience.  Everyone was having a similar experience and it was a huge relief to realise one, I’m not alone and two, yes this is it, this is normal, it’s just men don’t talk about it.

Now I feel like I’m looking forward to 2018, even though I’ve got the 3-month check-ups coming up. Before I wasn’t, I didn’t feel like I’d ever get to a point where I could be happy again, but now I feel excited about 2018, I feel that even with these hospital appointments coming up, I’ve had counselling and I know how now to work through the anxiety.

Matt and David evening

Matt with his partner David

Matt’s advice for others living with and beyond cancer

If I hadn’t spoken to Macmillan or any of the support services, I wouldn’t have known that any of this was normal. If you don’t share this stuff, you’re not going to find the help that you need.

It’s so important to talk to someone like Macmillan, and I would just like to say to anyone who’s going through this, that the minute you found out you’ve got cancer, or you think you have, speak to someone.

Speak to friends, speak to family, even speak to your employer, or speak to Macmillan or a counsellor just do it straight away. The less you spend time having these thoughts circling around in your mind, the better your recover will be.

Matt’s advice for people wanting to support someone living with cancer

Cancer is such a big word, that people feel uncomfortable talking about it and they don’t need to, don’t fear it.

When someone has got cancer, it doesn’t mean that it’s an end of life conversation to be had. It’s a conversation about here and how; how you are feeling right now.

And that’s really important; not to fear the future and be uncertain what to say.

Just ask: ‘how are you feeling right now?’, ‘how are you doing now’ ‘how are you feeling about what you’ve heard’ or ‘is there anything I can do, or do you just want to talk?’”

That’s such an easy conversation to have, so just take the cancer out of it. It’s a person, who’s got feelings and right now probably just needs someone to listen to them, so just listen.

Matt Batten with partner David Morgan

“Os na wnewch chi rannu’r pethau hyn, wnewch chi ddim canfod y cymorth sy’n ofynnol.” – Stori Matt Batten

Fel rhan o Wythnos Sgwrsio am Ganser rhwng 22 a 28 Ionawr 2018, rydym ni’n rhannu stori ysbrydolgar Matt.  Cafodd Matt ddiagnosis o ganser y ceilliau ym Mehefin 2016, a daeth y cemotherapi i ben yng Ngorffennaf 2017. Yn ystod ei brofiad o ganser, fe wnaeth Matt ganfod fod siarad am ei deimladau yn ei gynorthwyo i gael y cymorth emosiynol roedd arno ei angen.

Matt Batten

Matt Batten

Effaith emosiynol wedi’r driniaeth

Ni wnes i ddweud wrth neb am hyn oherwydd roeddwn i’n teimlo braidd yn euog – pam ddylwn i ddweud wrth ffrindiau fod canser arnaf i a fy mod i’n profi hyn oherwydd byddai’n faich sylweddol iddyn nhw.  Wrth edrych yn ôl, roedd hynny’n rhywbeth hynod o dwp oherwydd mae’n golygu y byddwch eich hun.

Rwy’n credu fod ychydig wythnosau, ychydig fisoedd wedi mynd heibio, cyn i mi sylweddol beth yw effaith emosiynol popeth roeddwn i wedi’i brofi arnaf i.

Roeddwn i wedi bod yn gweithio ac roeddwn i’n ei chael hi’n anodd ers tro, roedd popeth yn teimlo’n ormodol. Un diwrnod, roeddwn i mewn cyfarfod, a chefais i alwad ffôn gan y meddyg yn gofyn i mi wneud apwyntiad, ac roeddwn i’n meddwl, ‘jiw, beth yw hyn?’. Dim ond archwiliad oedd o ac fe wnes i ddechrau crïo, felly rhoddodd y Meddyg nodyn i mi a chefais i oddeutu 6 wythnos i ffwrdd o’r gwaith.

Wn i ddim pam, ond roeddwn i’n teimlo’n hynod o bryderus am bopeth.  Dywedodd y Meddyg wrthyf i fod hynny’n ymateb hollol arferol i rywbeth mor sylweddol â’r hyn roeddwn i wedi’i brofi.

Rwy’n credu mai bryd hynny y gwnes i sylweddoli fod hynny’n rhywbeth o bwys, a dyna phryd gwnes i ffonio Macmillan.

Macmillan a chymorth arall

Pan wnes i ffonio Macmillan, fe wnaeth y sawl wnaeth siarad â fi holi pryd ces i ddiagnosis, a dywedodd wrth fod hynny wedi digwydd oddeutu 2 neu 3 mis cyn hynny, a dylai popeth fod wedi gorffen erbyn hynny.  Ei ymateb oedd ‘na, pam fyddet ti, pam fyddet ti’n meddwl y dylai rhywbeth fel hyn fod wedi gorffen mor fuan’.

Wyddwn i ddim oherwydd nid oes llyfr canllawiau ar gael sy’n dweud wrthych chi beth yw’r amserlenni a sut ddylech chi fod yn teimlo, felly rydych chi fwy neu lai ar eich pen eich hun yn achos y math hynny o beth a deall eich teimladau.

Roedd y llinell gymorth yn wych, a dweud y gwir. Fe wnaeth yr unigolyn a siaradodd â fi normaleiddio popeth a dywedodd na fydd llawer o bobl yn teimlo’r effeithiau llawn yn syth.

Ac fe wnaeth hynny i mi sylweddoli nad oes dim o’i le ar deimlo’n drist, nid oes angen bod yn arwr, mae’n hollol normal teimlo’n drist iawn am yr hyn sydd wedi digwydd.

Fe wnes i hefyd ganfod grŵp cymorth ar-lein o’r enw Check ‘Em Lads, sef criw o ddynion yn trafod am eu profiad.  Roedd pawb yn cael profiad tebyg ac roedd yn rhyddhad enfawr i mi sylweddoli, yn gyntaf, nad ydwyf i fy hun, ac yn ail, ydy, mae hyn yn normal, ond fydd dynion ddim yn siarad amdano.

Nawr, rwy’n edrych ymlaen at 2018, er fy mod i’n wynebu’r archwiliadau a gynhelir bob tri mis.  Cyn hynny, nid oeddwn i’n edrych ymlaen, nid oeddwn i’n teimlo y gallwn i fyth fod yn hapus eto, ond nawr, rwy’n teimlo cyffro ynghylch 2018, ac er fy mod i’n wynebu’r apwyntiadau hyn yn yr ysbyty, rwyf i wedi cael cwnsela ac rwy’n gwybod sut i drin a thrafod y pryder.

Matt and David evening

Matt gyda ei bartner David

Cyngor Matt i bobl eraill sy’n byw gyda chanser ac wedi hynny

Pe na bawn i wedi siarad â Macmillan neu unrhyw rai o’r gwasanaethau cymorth eraill, ni fyddwn i wedi gwybod fod hyn yn normal.  Os na wnewch chi rannu’r pethau hyn, wnewch chi ddim canfod y cymorth sy’n ofynnol.

Mae’n hollbwysig siarad â rhywun fel Macmillan, ac fe hoffwn i ddweud wrth unrhyw un sy’n profi hyn, cyn gynted ag y byddwch yn canfod fod canser arnoch chi neu byddwch chi amau fod canser arnoch chi, siaradwch â rhywun.

Siaradwch â ffrindiau, perthnasau, eich cyflogwr hyd yn oed, neu siaradwch â Macmillan neu gwnselydd – ond gwnewch hynny’n syth.  Gorau po leiaf byddwch yn ei dreulio yn cnoi cil ynghylch y meddyliau hyn, i sicrhau bydd eich adferiad yn well.

Cyngor Matt i bobl sy’n dymuno cynorthwyo rhywun sy’n byw gyda chanser

Mae canser yn air mor fawr, mae’n gwneud i bobl deimlo’n anghyfforddus wrth siarad amdano, ond nid oes angen teimlo felly, peidiwch â’i ofni.

Pan fydd canser ar rywun, nid yw hynny’n golygu y bydd angen sgwrs diwedd oes.  Mae’n sgwrs sy’n ymwneud â’r presennol; sut ydych chi’n teimlo ar hyn o bryd.

Ac mae hynny’n bwysig iawn; peidio ofni’r dyfodol na bod yn ansicr ynghylch beth i’w ddweud.

Gofynnwch: ‘sut ydych chi’n teimlo nawr?’, ‘sut mae pethau ar hyn o bryd’, ‘sut ydych chi’n teimlo ynghylch beth ydych chi wedi’i glywed’ neu ‘a allaf i wneud rhywbeth, neu a hoffech chi sgwrsio?’”

Mae honno’n sgwrs mor hawdd i’w chael, felly tynnwch y canser ohoni hi. Mae’n unigolyn sydd â theimladau, ac ar hyn o bryd, mae’n debyg ei fod yn dymuno cael rhywun i wrando, felly ewch ati i wrando.

Matt Batten with partner David Morgan

Talking to Shirley could help you cope with the financial cost of cancer

Shirley blog pic (FINAL)Shirley Melly has been a Macmillan Welfare Benefits Adviser for over three years.

She explains how Macmillan grants and welfare benefits advice can help people cope with the financial pressures caused by cancer.

What sort of money worries can follow a cancer diagnosis?

Cancer just isn’t something people can plan or save for, and so many people who come to see me have nothing more to support them than statutory sick pay.

The reality is that when it comes to the cost of travelling to cancer treatment, eating healthy food to help you recover, or affording to put your heating on, £89 of statutory sick pay doesn’t go very far.

A lot of people who are of working age may also have young families to support, or mortgages still to pay.  Any loss of work income can leave them feeling like they simply can’t afford to be ill.

The emotional stress caused by money worries, at a time when many people are already at their most vulnerable, simply doesn’t bear thinking about.

It is a privilege to be able to play a part in relieving just some of it, either through welfare benefits advice, or providing individual Macmillan grants where needed.

What are the most common areas of Macmillan grant support?

There are the costs of getting to treatment.  Or the cost of new clothes because of the drastic changes in people’s weight or body shape that can follow it.

Macmillan grants are there to help people meet the wide range of urgent costs created by cancer.

Without a doubt, most people apply for a Macmillan grant to help them cover their heating bills.

While it might be more obvious during the winter – especially after the heavy snows we’ve recently had in Wales – people recovering from cancer treatment can often feel the cold all year round.

I can’t think of anything worse.

Imagine trying to recover from the pain of surgery, chemo or radiotherapy – all while shivering at home because you are too worried about money to put the heating on for just a little bit of physical comfort.

How can people who need support get in touch?

I work alongside various clinics in the Macmillan Chemotherapy Unit at Prince Charles Hospital in Merthyr, but there will be someone like me in your area of Wales as well.

Most people come to me after being referred by other health professionals – it is so important that people with cancer are made aware of what we can do to help them.

I would recommend that anyone with cancer asks for financial advice as early as possible.  Your health professional should be able to help you.

People can also find their local benefits advisers by visiting the ‘in my area’ of macmillan.org.uk.

MCS_Grants infographic_Wales_English_awWhat level of support can you offer people affected by cancer?

Our welfare benefits advice service is free and confidential not only for people with cancer, but also their families.

Most people diagnosed with cancer have never applied for benefits.  They don’t know where to start when it comes to the benefits they are entitled to because of their illness.

The welfare benefits system is also becoming increasingly complex, so we are here to help people affected by cancer to navigate it.

Everyone who comes to us has different needs, and we can advise and assist with applications on a wide range of health-related welfare benefits.

I can help people apply for things like Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefits.

We also cover all means-tested benefits such as Housing and Council Tax Benefit, Guarantee Pension Credit, Income Support and Universal Credit.

There really should be no stigma or shame about asking for help.

Cancer can have a huge impact on people’s finances and we are here to help people find out what support they are entitled to.

What advice would you give someone affected by cancer?

Whether you think you qualify or not, my advice would always be to get in touch with a Macmillan adviser.

I would also say that the earlier you get in touch the better.

For most people, once they come to terms with their diagnosis, money quickly becomes the next biggest worry.

If left unmanaged financial pressures can build up quickly, and the stress it causes does nothing to improve people’s recovery or quality of life.

We are always here.  We’ll be with you throughout the entire process.

If you need financial support please visit http://www.macmillan.org.uk where you can search for your local welfare benefits services, or call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.

Gallai siarad â Shirley eich helpu i ymdopi â chost ariannol canser

Shirley blog pic (FINAL)Mae Shirley Melly wedi bod yn Gynghorydd Budd-daliadau Lles Macmillan ers dros dair blynedd.

Yma, mae’n egluro sut y gall cyngor grantiau a budd-daliadau lles Macmillan helpu pobl i ymdopi â’r pwysau ariannol y mae canser yn ei achosi.

Pa fath o bryderon ariannol all ddod yn sgil diagnosis o ganser?

Dyw canser ddim yn rhywbeth y gall pobl gynllunio neu gynilo ar ei gyfer, a does gan lawer iawn o’r bobl sy’n dod i’m gweld ddim mwy na thâl salwch statudol i’w cynorthwyo.

Pan fo angen talu costau teithio ar gyfer eich triniaeth am ganser, bwyta bwyd iach i’ch helpu i wella, neu fforddio rhoi’r gwres ymlaen, y gwirionedd syml yw nad yw £89 o dâl salwch statudol yn mynd yn bell iawn.

Mae’n bosibl hefyd y bydd gan lawer o bobl sydd o oedran gweithio deuluoedd ifanc i’w cefnogi, neu forgeisi i’w talu. Gall colli unrhyw incwm gwaith beri iddynt deimlo na allant, yn syml iawn, fforddio bod yn sâl.

Mae’n hynod o ddigalon meddwl am y straen emosiynol y mae pryderon ariannol yn ei achosi, ar adeg pan mae llawer o bobl eisoes ar eu mwyaf bregus.

Mae’n fraint gallu chwarae fy rhan i leddfu rhywfaint ar hynny, boed drwy roi cyngor ar fudd-daliadau lles neu drwy ddarparu grantiau Macmillan unigol lle bo angen.

Beth yw’r meysydd mwyaf cyffredin y darperir cymorth grant Macmillan ar eu cyfer?

Ceir costau ynghlwm â chyrraedd y man lle rydych yn cael triniaeth. Neu gost dillad newydd oherwydd y newidiadau sylweddol y gall y driniaeth honno eu hachosi i bwysau neu siâp y corff.

Mae grantiau Macmillan yno i gynorthwyo pobl i dalu’r ystod eang o gostau brys y mae canser yn eu hachosi.

Yn ddi-os, mae’r rhan fwyaf o bobl yn gwneud cais am grant Macmillan er mwyn eu cynorthwyo i dalu eu biliau gwresogi.

Er y gall fod yn fwy amlwg yn ystod y gaeaf – ac yn enwedig wedi’r eira trwm a gawsom yn ddiweddar yng Nghymru – gall pobl sy’n gwella o driniaeth am ganser yn aml deimlo’n oer trwy gydol y flwyddyn.

Allaf fi ddim meddwl am unrhyw beth gwaeth.

Dychmygwch geisio gwella o boen llawdriniaeth, cemo neu radiotherapi – a chithau’n rhynnu gartref oherwydd eich bod chi’n pryderu gormod am arian i allu rhoi’r gwres ymlaen er mwyn cael tipyn o gysur corfforol.

Sut gall pobl sydd angen cymorth gysylltu?

Rydw i’n gweithio ochr yn ochr ag amrywiol glinigau yn Uned Gemotherapi Macmillan yn Ysbyty’r Tywysog Siarl ym Merthyr, ond bydd yna rywun fel fi yn eich ardal chithau o Gymru hefyd.

Daw’r rhan fwyaf o bobl ataf wedi iddynt gael eu cyfeirio gan weithwyr iechyd proffesiynol eraill – mae’n bwysig iawn fod pobl â chanser yn cael gwybod beth y gallwn ei wneud i’w cynorthwyo.

Byddwn i’n argymell i unrhyw un sydd â chanser ofyn am gymorth ariannol cyn gynted â phosibl. Dylai eich gweithiwr iechyd proffesiynol allu eich helpu.

Gall pobl hefyd ganfod eu cynghorwyr budd-daliadau lleol drwy fynd i’r adran ‘in my area’ ar macmillan.org.uk.

MCS_Grants infographic_Wales_Welsh_awPa lefel o gymorth allwch chi ei rhoi i bobl y mae canser yn effeithio arnynt?

Mae ein gwasanaeth cyngor budd-daliadau lles am ddim ac yn gyfrinachol, ac mae ar gael nid yn unig i bobl sydd â chanser, ond i’w teuluoedd hefyd.

Dyw’r rhan fwyaf o bobl sy’n cael diagnosis o ganser erioed wedi gwneud cais am fudd-daliadau. Ni wyddant sut i fynd ati i wneud cais am y budd-daliadau y maent yn gymwys i’w derbyn oherwydd eu salwch.

Mae’r system budd-daliadau lles yn datblygu i fod yn fwyfwy cymhleth hefyd, felly rydyn ni yma i gynorthwyo pobl y mae canser yn effeithio arnynt i ymwneud â’r system.

Mae gan bawb sy’n dod atom anghenion gwahanol, a gallwn gynghori a chynorthwyo â cheisiadau am ystod eang o fudd-daliadau lles sy’n ymwneud ag iechyd.

Gallaf helpu pobl i wneud cais am bethau fel y Lwfans Cyflogaeth a Chymorth, y Taliad Annibyniaeth Personol, y Lwfans Gweini a’r Budd-dal Anabledd Anafiadau Diwydiannol.

Rydym hefyd yn cwmpasu’r holl fudd-daliadau sy’n ddibynnol ar brawf modd, megis Budd-dal Tai a’r Dreth Gyngor, Gwarant Credyd Pensiwn, Cymhorthdal Incwm a’r Credyd Cynhwysol.

Ni ddylai pobl deimlo unrhyw stigma na chywilydd wrth ofyn am gymorth.

Gall canser gael effaith aruthrol ar sefyllfa ariannol pobl ac rydym ni yma i helpu pobl ddarganfod pa gymorth y mae ganddynt hawl i’w gael.

Pa gyngor fyddech chi’n ei roi i rywun y mae canser yn effeithio arno?

Boed chi’n meddwl eich bod yn gymwys ai peidio, fy nghyngor i yw y dylech wastad gysylltu â chynghorydd Macmillan.

Byddwn hefyd yn dweud mai gorau po gyntaf y cysylltwch.

I’r rhan fwyaf o bobl, wedi iddynt ddod i delerau â’u diagnosis, eu pryder mawr nesaf, a hynny mewn dim o dro, fydd arian.

Os na chânt eu rheoli, gall pwysau ariannol gynyddu’n sydyn, gan achosi straen nad yw’n ddim lles o ran gwella adferiad pobl neu ansawdd eu bywydau.

Rydym ni wastad yma, a byddwn gyda chi drwy gydol y broses.

Os oes arnoch angen cymorth ariannol ewch i http://www.macmillan.org.uk, lle gallwch chwilio am eich gwasanaethau budd-daliadau lles lleol, neu ffoniwch Linell Gymorth Macmillan ar 0808 808 00 00.

“understanding your cancer care is just so important – it’s a way of taking control”

Helen blog pic 2Helen Thomas was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.

As Macmillan Wales launches a new ‘Your Cancer Care’ tool, Helen explains how important it is to feel fully informed about your care and diagnosis.

On receiving a cancer diagnosis

It took several visits to my GP before I was diagnosed with breast cancer.

At first, I was told there was no reason to worry, but I trusted my instincts and asked to be referred.

I still remember the day.  There didn’t seem to be any great concern, I was relaxed, so I went to my consultant appointment on my own.

I found out that I had cancer with no-one around to support me.  It was the most difficult thing.

Thoughts on cancer care

I’ve experienced both sides of the coin.

After my initial diagnosis, I met an exceptional clinical nurse specialist from Macmillan.  She supported me, and left no stone unturned.  The care my family and I received was outstanding.

I felt truly safe in her care.

It didn’t stay that way.  I needed further treatment, my care was transferred and my experience was just not as positive or reassuring.

Yes, people were professional and caring, but there were just so many times that I felt left alone to sort things out for myself.

It was easy to start feeling like you were part of a process, a procedure rather than a person.

I saw different people at every appointment, I couldn’t identify which person I should turn to with my worries, and I had no formal care plan to help me understand what would happen next.

I certainly wasn’t made aware of the different kinds of support that could have been made available, like financial advice or counselling.

I desperately needed some of that support further down the line, but I had no idea how to access it.

It was a real gap in my care.

Shaping ‘Your Cancer Care in Wales’

I know just how important it is to understand your cancer diagnosis and care.

The worries I had through my cancer experience were much wider than just medical.  I worried about family, work, money – my emotions were all over the place.

If you at least understand your diagnosis, and are aware of the support that is available, then you can feel like you have some control over it all.

When Macmillan Wales asked me for my views on a new resource to help people understand their cancer care, I was more than happy to help shape it with some of my own experiences.

I hope the ‘Your Cancer Care in Wales’ resource will help people to understand their care, and to know what questions to ask to make sure they get the support they need.

I know I would have appreciated some of the advice the new tool contains.

I hope others can take some comfort from it now.

‘Your Cancer Care in Wales’ is available from:

www.macmillan.org.uk/cancercarewales

“mae hi mor bwysig eich bod chi’n deall eich gofal canser – mae’n fodd o reoli’r sefyllfa”

Helen blog pic 2Cafodd Helen Thomas ddiagnosis o ganser y fron yn 2013.

Wrth i Macmillan Cymru lansio adnodd newydd ‘Eich Gofal Canser’, mae Helen yn esbonio pa mor bwysig yw hi i deimlo bod gennych yr holl wybodaeth y mae arnoch ei hangen am eich gofal a’ch diagnosis.

Cael diagnosis o ganser

Bu’n rhaid imi ymweld â’r meddyg teulu sawl gwaith cyn cael y diagnosis o ganser y fron.

Ar y cychwyn, fe ddywedwyd wrthyf nad oedd rheswm imi bryderu, ond dilynais fy ngreddf a gofyn am gael fy atgyfeirio.

Rwy’n dal i gofio’r diwrnod hwnnw. Doedd dim pryder mawr, yn ôl pob golwg, ac roeddwn i’n teimlo’n eithaf ymlaciedig, felly fe es i’r apwyntiad gyda’r ymgynghorydd ar fy mhen fy hun.

Ces wybod bod gen i ganser heb neb o’m cwmpas i’m cefnogi. Dyna oedd y peth anoddaf.

Ei barn am ofal canser

Rwyf wedi cael profiad o’r naill ochr a’r llall.

Wedi fy niagnosis cychwynnol, cwrddais â nyrs glinigol arbenigol o Macmillan, ac roedd hi’n eithriadol. Bu’n gefn imi, ac yn hynod o drylwyr. Roedd y gofal a gafodd fy nheulu a finnau yn rhagorol.

Roeddwn i’n teimlo’n wirioneddol ddiogel yn ei gofal hi.

Ond nid felly y bu pethau wedyn. Roedd arna i angen rhagor o driniaeth, cafodd fy ngofal ei drosglwyddo a doedd fy mhrofiad i wedyn ddim mor gadarnhaol nac yn tawelu fy meddwl i’r un graddau.

Oedd, roedd pawb yn broffesiynol ac yn ofalgar, ond ar lawer iawn o adegau roeddwn i’n teimlo fy mod i wedi cael fy ngadael ar fy mhen fy hun i roi trefn ar bethau.

Peth rhwydd iawn oedd dechrau teimlo fel eich bod chi’n rhan o broses, o weithdrefn, yn hytrach nag yn berson.

Roeddwn i’n gweld gwahanol bobl ym mhob apwyntiad, wyddwn i ddim at bwy y dylwn i droi i leisio fy mhryderon, a doedd gen i ddim cynllun gofal ffurfiol i’m cynorthwyo i ddeall beth fyddai’n digwydd nesaf.

Chefais i’n sicr ddim gwybod am y gwahanol fathau o gymorth y gellid bod wedi eu darparu, megis cyngor ariannol, neu gwnsela.

Yn nes ymlaen, roedd taer angen peth o’r cymorth hwnnw arnaf, ond doedd gen i ddim syniad sut i gael gafael arno.

Roedd yn fwlch gwirioneddol yn fy ngofal i.

Siapio ‘Eich Gofal Canser yng Nghymru’  

Gwn yn union pa mor bwysig yw hi eich bod chi’n deall eich diagnosis o ganser a’ch gofal.

Roedd y pryderon oedd gennyf trwy gydol fy mhrofiad o ganser yn llawer ehangach na dim ond pryderon meddygol. Roeddwn i’n poeni am deulu, gwaith, arian – roedd fy emosiynau i’n gymysg i gyd.

Os ydych chi’n deall eich diagnosis, ac yn ymwybodol o’r gefnogaeth sydd ar gael, o leiaf wedyn byddwch yn teimlo fel bod gennych rywfaint o reolaeth dros y cyfan.

Pan ofynnodd Macmillan Cymru imi am fy safbwyntiau ar adnodd newydd i helpu pobl i ddeall eu gofal canser, roeddwn i’n fwy na pharod i helpu i’w siapio ar sail rhai o’m profiadau fy hun.

Rwy’n gobeithio y bydd yr adnodd ‘Eich Gofal Canser yng Nghymru’ yn helpu pobl i ddeall eu gofal, ac i wybod pa gwestiynau i’w gofyn er mwyn sicrhau eu bod yn cael y cymorth y mae arnynt ei angen.

Gwn y byddwn i wedi gwerthfawrogi peth o’r cyngor a geir yn yr adnodd newydd hwn.

Rwy’n gobeithio y bydd yn rhywfaint o gysur i bobl eraill o hyn ymlaen.

Mae ‘Eich Gofal Canser yng Nghymru’ ar gael o: 

www.macmillan.org.uk/gofalcansercymru