Author Archives: macmillancymruwales

Q&A with Volunteering Services Coordinator Zoe Thomas

As part of Volunteers Week, we wanted to highlight the work of our fabulous Volunteer Services Coordinators, Zoe Thomas for South Wales and Rachel Twiss for North Wales.

Here, Zoe tells us all about the role, what her and Rachel could be doing on a day to day basis, and how they work with volunteers.

What is your role at Macmillan and what do you do?

I’m the Volunteering Services Coordinator for South Wales and am currently focusing on the Carmarthenshire Support Buddies Service. I recruit, train and support volunteers, who in turn support people affected by cancer all across Carmarthenshire. Our Buddy volunteers provide 2/3 hours (per week) of practical or emotional support to people in their own homes/communities e.g. having a cup of tea and a chat, doing some light housework, shopping or providing occasional lifts to appointments.

Zoe Thomas GHSb

Zoe Thomas

How do you support volunteers

All our volunteers receive training, guidance and support from Macmillan staff throughout their role so there is always someone to contact and run a query by.  We also have a learning and development programme to extend volunteer’s knowledge and training, connect with different services and organisations to learn more about what they can provide, and also have get-togethers for peer support and a greater sense of team – quite often this involves homemade cake, which is always a bonus! 😊

What do you enjoy most about working with volunteers?

I began my role in May 2017 and have met so many wonderful people during that time, who all give up their time for free to support others in their community. It really inspires me and keeps my faith in human kindness. Having spoken with a large number of our service users (i.e. those we support), I’ve also heard first-hand just how much it means to them, and how much they appreciate our volunteer’s time and support. Being a volunteer myself for a different organisation, I understand the time commitment and dedication needed but also the good feeling you get from helping others.

What is your favourite thing about working for Macmillan?

The feeling that I’m part of an organisation that helps others. I won’t always meet the people referred to us but know that I’m part of a wider team that makes life a little easier for someone going through a cancer diagnosis, treatment and/or dealing with the effect of it on their daily lives. ‘Simple’ everyday tasks can become difficult to tackle and having someone to tidy up may boost your sense of well-being.

Our support means that not only the person themselves has support but their family and friends benefit too, as knowing that a volunteer will be there for a couple of hours a week, can really help to ease stress or anxiety and give them a break. All ‘round, Macmillan is doing a fantastic job to support people affected by cancer, whether it’s face-to-face or in the background and I’m proud to be part of that Team.

E&V Team

Zoe Thomas (second from right) and Rachel Twiss (second from left) with the Engagement and Volunteering team

Anything you’d like to add?

If you have some spare time in your week (2/3 hours) and think you could use it to support others, get in touch with your local Macmillan Volunteering Teams. There are volunteering opportunities in all corners of the UK, which you can access by logging on to www.macmillan.org.uk and choosing the Get Involved or In My Area links at the top. You could fundraise, organise/attend events and cheerlead, complete a challenge, become an e-campaigner or join us in the Volunteering Services Team and provide practical and/or emotional help to someone in your area.

What would you say to someone interested in volunteering for Macmillan in Wales?

I think the last word needs to come from one of our long-standing Buddy Volunteers, who simply says “If you have a couple of hours to spare, you can make such a difference to someone’s life but you’ll also be surprised, how much you’ll get out of it too.”

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Sesiwn Holi ac Cydlynydd Gwasanaethau Gwirfoddoli Zoe Thomas

Yn rhan o Wythnos Gwirfoddolwyr, roedd arnom eisiau tynnu sylw at waith ein Cydlynwyr Gwasanaethau Gwirfoddoli gwych, Zoe Thomas ar gyfer de Cymru a Rachel Twiss ar gyfer y Gogledd.

Yn y fan yma, mae Zoe yn sôn wrthym am ei gwaith, yr hyn y gallai Rachel a hithau fod yn ei wneud o ddydd i ddydd, a sut maent yn gweithio gyda gwirfoddolwyr.

Beth yw eich swydd gyda Macmillan a beth ydych chi’n ei wneud?

Fi yw’r Cydlynydd Gwasanaethau Gwirfoddoli ar gyfer De Cymru ac ar hyn o bryd rwyf yn canolbwyntio ar Wasanaeth Cyfeillion Cymorth Sir Gaerfyrddin. Rwy’n recriwtio, yn hyfforddi ac yn cefnogi gwirfoddolwyr sydd, yn eu tro, yn cynorthwyo pobl y mae canser yn effeithio arnynt ledled Sir Gaerfyrddin. Mae ein Cyfeillion gwirfoddol yn rhoi 2/3 awr (yr wythnos) o gymorth ymarferol neu emosiynol i bobl yn eu cartrefi/cymunedau eu hunain e.e. cael paned o de a sgwrs, gwneud rhywfaint o waith tŷ ysgafn, siopa neu roi lifft yn achlysurol i apwyntiadau.

Zoe Thomas GHSb

Zoe Thomas

Sut ydych chi’n cynorthwyo gwirfoddolwyr?

Mae ein holl wirfoddolwyr yn cael hyfforddiant, arweiniad a chefnogaeth gan staff Macmillan trwy gydol eu rôl, felly mae yna wastad rywun y gallant gysylltu â hwy a gofyn cwestiynau iddynt. Mae gennym hefyd raglen ddysgu a datblygu er mwyn ehangu gwybodaeth a hyfforddiant gwirfoddolwyr, rydym yn cysylltu â gwahanol wasanaethau a chyrff er mwyn dysgu mwy am yr hyn y gallant ei ddarparu, ac rydym hefyd yn dod â phawb ynghyd fel y gallant gefnogi ei gilydd a chael gwell ymdeimlad o dîm – yn aml bydd hyn yn golygu bwyta cacennau cartref, sydd wastad yn bleser!   😊

Beth ydych chi’n ei fwynhau fwyaf am weithio gyda gwirfoddolwyr?

Dechreuais yn fy swydd ym mis Mai 2017 ac rwyf wedi cwrdd â chynifer o bobl wych yn ystod y cyfnod hwnnw, a phob un ohonynt yn rhoi o’u hamser am ddim i gynorthwyo eraill yn eu cymuned. Mae’n fy ysbrydoli ac yn cynnal fy ffydd mewn caredigrwydd pobl. Gan fy mod wedi siarad â nifer fawr o’n defnyddwyr gwasanaeth (h.y. y rhai yr ydym yn eu cynorthwyo), rwyf hefyd wedi clywed yn uniongyrchol faint mae’n ei olygu iddynt hwy, a chymaint yw eu gwerthfawrogiad o amser a chymorth ein gwirfoddolwyr. Rwy’n gwirfoddoli fy hun i fudiad arall, felly rwy’n deall yr ymrwymiad amser a’r ymroddiad sydd ei angen, ond hefyd y teimlad da a gewch yn sgil helpu pobl eraill.  

Beth yw eich hoff beth am weithio i Macmillan?

Y teimlad fy mod i’n rhan o sefydliad sy’n helpu pobl eraill. Fyddaf fi ddim bob amser yn cwrdd â’r bobl sy’n cael eu hatgyfeirio atom, ond gwn fy mod i’n rhan o dîm ehangach sy’n gwneud bywyd fymryn yn haws i bobl sy’n mynd drwy ddiagnosis o ganser, triniaeth ac/neu sy’n ymdopi ag effeithiau hynny ar eu bywyd bob dydd. Gall tasgau ‘syml’ bob dydd fod yn anodd i ymdrin â hwy a gall cael rhywun i dacluso fod yn gysur, a rhoi hwb ichi.

Mae ein cymorth yn golygu bod gan y person ei hun gefnogaeth ond bod eu teulu a’u ffrindiau yn elwa hefyd, gan fod gwybod y bydd gwirfoddolwr yno am ychydig oriau’r wythnos yn gallu bod o gymorth mawr i leddfu straen neu orbryder a rhoi hoe iddynt. Drwyddi draw, mae Macmillan yn gwneud gwaith arbennig i gynorthwyo pobl y mae canser yn effeithio arnynt, boed hynny wyneb yn wyneb neu yn y cefndir, ac rwy’n falch o fod yn rhan o’r tîm hwnnw.

E&V Team

Hoffech chi ychwanegu rhywbeth?

Os oes gennych rywfaint o amser rhydd yn ystod eich wythnos (2/3 awr) a’ch bod yn meddwl y gallech ei ddefnyddio i gynorthwyo eraill, cysylltwch â’ch Tîm Gwirfoddoli Macmillan lleol. Ceir cyfleoedd i wirfoddoli ledled y DU, a gallwch eu canfod drwy fynd i www.macmillan.org.uk a dewis y dolenni Get Involved neu In My Area ar y brig. Gallwch godi arian, trefnu/mynychu digwyddiadau a chodi hwyl/cefnogi, cyflawni her, dod yn e-ymgyrchydd neu ymuno â ni yn y Tîm Gwasanaethau Gwirfoddoli a rhoi cymorth ymarferol ac/neu emosiynol i rywun yn eich ardal.

Beth fyddai eich neges chi i rywun sydd â diddordeb mewn gwirfoddoli i Macmillan yng Nghymru?

Rhaid imi roi’r gair olaf i un sydd wedi bod yn Gyfaill Gwirfoddolwr i ni ers tro byd, a dyma ei neges: “Os oes gennych awr neu ddwy i’w sbario, gallwch wneud cymaint o wahaniaeth i fywyd rhywun, ond fe gewch syndod hefyd gymaint o fudd a gewch chithau hefyd o’r profiad.”

Making a splash! Lucy takes on open-water swim challenge to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support

02 Lucy Blayney, aged 6, with her nan Shirley Blayney

Lucy aged six with her nan Shirley

For many people, the idea of swimming over two miles in open water gives them the shivers but not Macmillan Cancer Support fundraiser Lucy Blayney.

Twenty-seven-year-old Lucy from Pembroke is taking on The Wales Swim Long Course, a 2.4 mile swim in Tenby in July, to raise funds for the cancer charity that supported her grandmother who was diagnosed with bone cancer in cancer in May 2017.

01 Lucy Blayney

Lucy Blayney

Lucy’s nan, Shirley Blayney sadly died in December 2017 but such was the impact that Macmillan had by providing emotional and practical support to the family during her nan’s cancer treatment, that Lucy vowed to fundraise for the charity as a way of saying thank you.

Lucy started her training in indoor swimming pools in January but now the sea is warmer Lucy is taking her first dip in the open water.

Speaking about training for this challenge, Lucy, said: “I have always loved swimming and I am pretty quick! I’ve never swam open water but I did spend most of my childhood in the sea at the local beaches.

“Tenby is gorgeous and I have been lucky enough to live five miles away! The sea does not scare me and I am so looking forward to the challenge.

“To anyone thinking of fundraising I’d say don’t let anyone put you down, and keep going! It’s an amazing feeling when someone donates and believes in you. A doctor has said to me earlier this year that she thought a girl my size wouldn’t be able to do the Long Course. I’m only a size 16! And I thought to myself you’re wrong! She doesn’t know the reasons why I am determined to complete this challenge.”

03 Lucy Blayney tshirt and swimming capSue Reece, Macmillan Fundraising Manager for Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion, said: “We really appreciate Lucy giving her time to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support to help people in Wales affected by cancer. This is no easy challenge but Lucy’s determination to finish the course is very clear.

“Lucy’s nan, and her family, received support from Macmillan at her home and at both Glangwili and Withybush hospitals. It’s so important for our rural communities that Macmillan can be there to support people with cancer.

“Macmillan is 98 per cent funded by donations and we can only do what we do because people like Lucy give their time to raise money for us.”

Anyone wishing to support Lucy can donate to her Just Giving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-blayney1

If you’ve been inspired to take on a challenge then visit the Macmillan Cancer Support website at www.macmillan.org.uk and search for fundraising events.

(505 words)

Mentro i’r môr! Lucy yn herio’i hun i nofio mewn dŵr agored er mwyn codi arian i Gymorth Canser Macmillan

02 Lucy Blayney, aged 6, with her nan Shirley BlayneyByddai’r syniad o nofio dros ddwy filltir mewn dŵr agored yn codi ias ar lawer o bobl, ond nid felly y mae hi i Lucy Blayney, sy’n codi arian i Gymorth Canser Macmillan.

Bydd Lucy o Benfro, sy’n 27 oed, yn nofio 2.4 milltir yn Ninbych-y-pysgod ym mis Gorffennaf, yn rhan o Gwrs Hir y Wales Swim, er mwyn codi arian i’r elusen ganser a roddodd gefnogaeth i’w mam-gu pan gafodd ddiagnosis o ganser yr esgyrn ym mis Mai 2017.

Yn drist iawn, bu mam-gu Lucy, Shirley Blayney, farw ym mis Rhagfyr 2017, ond roedd

01 Lucy Blayney

Lucy Blayney

Macmillan wedi cael cymaint o effaith drwy roi cymorth emosiynol ac ymarferol i’r teulu yn ystod triniaeth ei mam-gu am ganser fel bod Lucy wedi addo codi arian i’r elusen fel ffordd o ddweud diolch.

Dechreuodd Lucy ymarfer mewn pyllau nofio dan do ym mis Ionawr, ond gan fod y môr fymryn cynhesach erbyn hyn mae hi bellach yn mentro i’r dŵr agored am y tro cyntaf.

Wrth sôn am ymarfer ar gyfer yr her hon, dywedodd Lucy: “Rydw i wastad wedi caru nofio ac rwy’n gallu nofio’n eithaf cyflym! Dydw i erioed wedi nofio mewn dŵr agored, ond fe dreuliais i’r rhan fwyaf o’m plentyndod ar y traethau lleol ac yn y môr.

“Mae Dinbych-y-pysgod yn fendigedig ac rwyf wedi bod yn ddigon ffodus i fyw bum milltir i ffwrdd! Dyw’r môr ddim yn codi ofn arnaf fi ac felly rwy’n edrych ymlaen yn arw at yr her.

“I unrhyw un sy’n ystyried codi arian, byddwn i’n dweud wrthynt beidio â gadael i neb eu tanseilio, ac i ddal ati! Mae’n deimlad gwych pan fydd rhywun yn credu ynoch chi ac yn cyfrannu arian. Dywedodd meddyg wrthyf yn gynharach eleni nad oedd hi’n meddwl y gallai merch o’m maint i wneud y Cwrs Hir. Dim ond maint 16 ydw i! Ac fe ddywedais i wrthyf fi fy hun ei bod hi’n anghywir! Dyw hi ddim yn ymwybodol o’r rhesymau pam rydw i’n benderfynol o gwblhau’r her yma.”

03 Lucy Blayney tshirt and swimming cap

Yn ôl Sue Reece, Rheolwr Codi Arian Macmillan ar gyfer Sir Benfro, Sir Gaerfyrddin a Cheredigion: “Rydyn ni’n wirioneddol ddiolchgar fod Lucy’n rhoi o’i hamser i godi arian i Gymorth Canser Macmillan er mwyn cynorthwyo pobl yng Nghymru y mae canser yn effeithio arnynt. Nid yw hon yn her hawdd o gwbl, ond mae penderfyniad Lucy i’w chwblhau yn amlwg.

“Cafodd mam-gu Lucy, a’i theulu, gymorth gan Macmillan gartref ac yn ysbytai Glangwili a Llwynhelyg. Mae’n holl bwysig i’n cymunedau gwledig fod Macmillan yn gallu bod yno i gynorthwyo pobl sydd â chanser.

“Daw 98 y cant o nawdd Macmillan o gyfraniadau a dim ond oherwydd bod pobl fel Lucy yn rhoi o’u hamser i godi arian i ni y gallwn wneud yr hyn rydyn ni’n ei wneud.”

Gall unrhyw un sydd eisiau cefnogi Lucy gyfrannu at ei thudalen Just Giving ar https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lucy-blayney1

Os ydych chi wedi cael eich ysbrydoli i fentro cyflawni eich her eich hun, ewch i wefan Cymorth Canser Macmillan ar www.macmillan.org.uk a chwilio am ddigwyddiadau codi arian.

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).

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