Category Archives: Macmillan Professionals

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

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 where you can search for your local welfare benefits services, or call the Macmillan Support Line on 0808 808 00 00.


Q & A with Paula Hall, Macmillan Family Information and Support Officer

Today sees the start of Carers Week so we asked Paula Hall, a Macmillan Family Information and Support Officer, to tell us a bit about her role. Based at Bridgend Carers Centre, Paula offers holistic support to people and families affected by cancer and other life-limiting illnesses.


Tell us a bit about your role?

I’m the Family Information and Support Officer for Macmillan. I provide carers in Bridgend County Borough with emotional and practical support.

I meet people at their homes, or at the carers centre, in a hospital setting or even over the telephone. For example, I go out to the Macmillan Unit at Y Bwthyn Newydd once a week to raise awareness and to meet with families of people affected by cancer to offer information and support.

Many carers aren’t used to someone asking, “How are you?” People rarely ask about them – it is usually about the person they care caring for.

I’m there to help signpost people to expert legal support, financial and benefits advice.

When I go and see a carer, I always start the conversation by saying “Well I’m not medical. I’m not trained in the hospital setting and they say “Oh that’s nice. I don’t want to see another nurse, another doctor or another consultant!”

It’s not just emotional support and signposting that you offer is it? Tell us a bit about the organised activities and therapies that people can access at the centre?

We have a wide programme of activities and support to appeal to all abilities and interests.

There’s a number of social activities that we offer including day trips, cream teas, a weekly book cwtch, crafting and even adult colouring!

We recently had a weekend yoga retreat at the Margam Discovery Centre which was brilliantly received. Gail Needham is our amazing yoga teacher comes in and tailors her class to the ages and ability of the people here. It wasn’t just yoga there was also mindfulness, walking and breathing techniques to help people reduce stress.

We have a newsletter which goes out to 3,000 carers in the Bridgend borough. Inside there is a dairy with four months worth of activities. So in August, if you are on our database you’ll receive the September to December newsletter. It basically tells carers what is going on Monday to Friday at the centre.

You can read the latest newsletter here

We also have a fortnightly foot clinic, and a holistic therapists comes to the centre to offer treatment such as reiki and reflexology.

Can people affected by cancer access some of these in their own homes?

Yes, a therapist can also go out with me and visit families at their homes if somebody is in bed and very poorly. We get funding to provide these services so she will go out and do Reiki, reflexology.

There’s a guy she is seeing through us who has really poorly feet as a result of his chemotherapy treatment. She gives him therapy at home. She’s fantastic!

Do people gradually slip into becoming carers?

Well sometimes becoming a carer is a very, very slow and very gradual journey, and sometimes it’s ‘bang’ and it’s crisis! I see carers from both ends of the spectrum.

Sometimes the carer can be the person with the cancer diagnosis do you they face particular problems?

Yes, the carer can be the person with a cancer diagnosis – that’s not an uncommon situation. Just today I am arranging to meet a lady who is caring for her husband who has the early onset signs of dementia. She’s been caring for him for a number of years but she since has since been diagnosed with bowel cancer.  Carers can also suffer from a number of illnesses – for example depression.

Do people sometimes reject the carer label?

You’ve got to be very careful of course when you ask people if they are caring for someone.  Some people say “No, it’s my wife, it’s my job, it’s my duty so of course I not her carer.”

You have to be very sensitive around the carer label.

How can carers in Bridgend Borough get in touch with you?

The best way to get in touch is to call Bridgend Carers Centre on 01656 658 479 during office hours.

My role is part-time, and the nature of my job is that I am out and about a lot but someone will take a message and I’ll get back in touch as soon as I can.

Or drop in and say hello. We’re at 87 Park Street. Bridgend, CF31 4AZ.

Thanks Paula for giving us your time

Sesiwn Holi ac Ateb gyda Paula Hall sydd yn Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Chymorth i Deuluoedd gyda Macmillan

Heddiw yw dechrau Wythnos y Gofalwyr felly fe wnaethom ofyn i Paula Hall, sydd yn Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Chymorth i Deuluoedd gyda Macmillan, i ddweud ychydig wrthym am ei swydd.  Mae Paula, sydd wedi ei lleoli ym Mhen-y-bont ar Ogwr, yn cynnig cymorth holistaidd i bobl a theuluoedd sydd wedi eu heffeithio gan ganser a salwch arall sy’n cyfyngu ar eu bywyd.


Dywedwch ychydig wrthym am eich swydd?

Fi yw Swyddog Gwybodaeth a Chymorth i Deuluoedd Macmillan. Rwy’n rhoi cymorth emosiynol ac ymarferol i ofalwyr ym Mwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr.

Rwyf yn cyfarfod pobl yn eu cartrefi, neu yn y ganolfan gofalwyr, mewn ysbytai, neu hyd yn oed dros y ffôn. Er enghraifft, rwyf yn mynd allan i Uned Macmillan yn Y Bwthyn Newydd unwaith yr wythnos i godi ymwybyddiaeth, ac i gyfarfod â theuluoedd pobl sydd wedi eu heffeithio gan ganser i roi gwybodaeth a chymorth.

Mae llawer o ofalwyr heb arfer â rhywun yn gofyn, “Sut ydych chi?” Anaml y mae pobl yn gofyn amdanynt – mae fel arfer yn ymwneud â’r person y maent yn gofalu amdanynt.

Rwyf yno i helpu i gyfeirio pobl at gymorth arbenigol yn ymwneud â’r gyfraith, arian a budd-daliadau.

Pan fyddaf yn mynd i weld gofalwr, rwyf bob amser yn dechrau’r sgwrs trwy ddweud “Wel, nid wyf yn feddygol. Nid wyf wedi cael hyfforddiant mewn ysbyty ac maent yn dweud “Mae hynny’n braf.  Dydw i ddim eisiau gweld nyrs arall na meddyg ac ymgynghorydd arall!”

Rydych yn cynnig mwy na chymorth emosiynol a chyfeirio yn unig yn d’ydych? Dywedwch ychydig wrthym am y gweithgareddau sy’n cael eu trefnu a’r therapïau y gall pobl eu cael yn y ganolfan?

Mae gennym raglen eang o weithgareddau a chymorth i apelio at bob gallu a diddordeb.

Rydym yn cynnig nifer o weithgareddau cymdeithasol yn cynnwys teithiau dydd, te hufen, cwtsh llyfrau wythnosol, crefftau a lliwio i oedolion hyd yn oed!

Yn ddiweddar, cawsom benwythnos encil ioga yng Nghanolfan Ddarganfod Margam, gafodd dderbyniad gwych. Mae Gail Needham, ein hathrawes ioga ragorol, yn dod i mewn ac yn teilwra ei dosbarth i oed a gallu’r bobl sydd yma.  Nid ioga yn unig ydoedd, roedd ymwybyddiaeth ofalgar, cerdded a thechnegau anadlu hefyd i helpu pobl i leihau straen.

Mae cylchlythyr yn cael ei anfon at 3,000 o ofalwyr ym mwrdeistref Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr.  Ynddo ceir dyddiadur gyda gwerth pedwar mis o weithgareddau. Felly ym mis Awst, os ydych ar ein cronfa ddata, byddwch yn cael cylchlythyr Medi i Ragfyr.  Yn fras, mae’n dweud wrth ofalwyr beth sydd yn digwydd o ddydd Llun i ddydd Gwener yn y ganolfan.

Gallwch ddarllen y cylchlythyr yma

Mae gennym hefyd glinig traed bob penwythnos, ac mae therapïau holistaidd yn dod i’r ganolfan i gynnig triniaeth fel reiki ac adweitheg.

A yw pobl sydd wedi eu heffeithio gan ganser yn gallu cael rhai o’r rhain yn eu cartrefi eu hunain?

Ydyn, gall therapydd ddod gyda mi i ymweld â theuluoedd yn eu cartrefi os oes rhywun yn y gwely ac yn sâl iawn. Rydym yn cael cyllid i ddarparu’r gwasanaethau hyn felly bydd yn mynd allan ac yn gwneud Reiki ac adweitheg.

Mae yna ddyn y mae’n ei weld trwom ni sydd â thraed gwael iawn o ganlyniad i’w driniaeth cemotherapi. Mae’n rhoi therapi iddo yn ei gartref.  Mae’n wych!

A yw pobl yn llithro’n raddol i fod yn ofalwyr?

Weithiau mae dod yn ofalwr yn daith araf a graddol iawn iawn ac weithiau mae’n argyfwng ar unwaith! Rwy’n gweld gofalwyr o ddau begwn y sbectrwm.

Weithiau, y gofalwr sydd wedi cael diagnosis o ganser.  Ydych chi’n credu eu bod yn wynebu problemau penodol?

Ydw, gall y gofalwr fod wedi cael diagnosis o ganser – nid yw hynny’n sefyllfa anghyffredin. Heddiw, rwyf yn trefnu cyfarfod â menyw sy’n gofalu am ei gŵr sydd ag arwyddion cynnar o ddementia. Mae wedi bod yn gofalu amdano ers sawl blwyddyn ond mae wedi cael diagnosis o ganser y coluddyn ers hynny.  Mae gofalwyr yn gallu dioddef sawl math gwahanol o salwch hefyd – iselder er enghraifft.

A yw pobl weithiau’n gwrthod y label gofalwr?

Mae’n rhaid i chi fod yn ofalus iawn wrth gwrs pan fyddwch yn gofyn i bobl a ydynt yn gofalu am rywun.  Mae rhai pobl yn dweud “Na, hi yw fy ngwraig i, dyna fy ngwaith, fy nyletswydd felly wrth gwrs nad fi yw ei gofalwr.”

Mae’n rhaid i chi fod yn sensitif iawn am y label gofalwr.

Sut gall gofalwyr ym Mwrdeistref Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr gysylltu â chi?

Y ffordd orau o gysylltu yw ffonio Canolfan Gofalwyr Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr ar 01656 658 479 yn ystod oriau swyddfa.

Mae fy swydd yn un rhan-amser, a natur fy swydd yw fy mod allan cryn dipyn ond bydd rhywun yn cymryd neges a byddaf yn cysylltu â chi cyn gynted ag y gallaf.

Neu galwch heibio i ddweud helo. Ein cyfeiriad yw 87 Stryd y Parc. Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr, CF31 4AZ.

Diolch Paula am roi eich amser i ni!



Taking Cancer Services Health and Well-being advice to into the community

Michelle Lloyd, is the Macmillan Person Centred Care Project Manager with Cwm Taf University Health Board. In her blog, Michelle writes about the importance of holding health and wellbeing events out of the clinical setting and in the community.

We often talk about the importance of delivering care closer to home (where appropriate to do so!). I think the same is true about how we engage with our local community – we need to be out there providing advice and support in ways which are easy for our community to access. So where better a place to go than the Tonyrefail Workingmen’s Club in Porth?



Michelle Lloyd

On Friday 4 November, the Workingmen’s Club proved to be an ideal venue for us to meet with our cancer patients, their relatives and carers. The aim of the event was to provide health and well-being advice to people living with cancer and ensure that they are receiving the best possible care according to their needs.

During the three hours we spent there, we managed to speak with patients, relatives and carers, providing much needed signposting to information and other support networks. In total, 46 people signed in to the event and for some, it was a great opportunity to find out about things like the National Exercise Referral Scheme or the Macmillan Activity Programme.

The overwhelming feedback from the day was simple. As one patient said, the important thing to them was “to be able to talk to someone and have advice”.

It is important that people feel well supported and are provided with good levels of information. It ensures that patients have what they need to make informed decisions about their care and to help them to become more able to self-manage their conditions.

All in all, it was a really beneficial event which allowed cancer patients to not only talk to health care professionals but to also spend time talking with other patients and their families about their own experiences.

We’ll certainly be doing more of these events in the future!


In the meantime, if you know anyone who wants someone to talk to about cancer, then call Macmillan Cancer Support free on 0808 808 00 00 or visit

Mynd â Chyngor Iechyd a Lles Gwasanaethau Canser i’r gymuned

Michelle Lloyd yw Rheolwr Prosiect Gofal sy’n Canolbwyntio ar yr Unigolyn Macmillan gyda  Bwrdd Iechyd Prifysgol Cwm Taf. Yn ei blog, mae Michelle yn ysgrifennu am bwysigrwydd cynnal digwyddiadau iechyd a lles y tu allan i’r lleoliad clinigol ac yn y gymuned.


Michelle Lloyd

Rydyn yn aml yn sôn am bwysigrwydd cyflwyno gofal yn nes at y cartref (lle mae’n briodol gwneud hynny!). Rwy’n credu bod yr un peth yn wir am sut rydym yn ymgysylltu â’n cymuned leol – mae angen inni fod allan yno’n cynnig cymorth a chefnogaeth mewn ffyrdd sy’n hawdd i’n cymuned gael mynediad atynt. Felly, does unman gwell i fynd na Chlwb Gweithwyr Tonyrefail yn y Porth.

Ddydd Gwener, 4 Tachwedd, bu’r Clwb Gweithwyr yn lleoliad delfrydol inni gwrdd â’n cleifion canser, â’u perthnasau ac â’u gofalwyr. Nod  y digwyddiad oedd cynnig cyngor iechyd a lles i rai sy’n byw gyda chanser a sicrhau eu bod yn cael y gofal gorau posibl yn ôl eu hanghenion.

Yn ystod y tair awr a dreulion ni yno, llwyddon ni i siarad â chleifion, perthnasau a gofalwyr, gan gyfeirio llawer at wybodaeth ac at rwydweithiau cefnogi eraill. At ei gilydd, cofrestrodd 46 o bobl ar y digwyddiad ac i rai, roedd yn gyfle gwych i gael gwybod am bethau fel y Cynllun Cyfeirio i Ymarfer Cenedlaethol neu Raglen Gweithgareddau Macmillan.

Roedd yr adborth cyffredinol o’r diwrnod yn syml. Fel y dywedodd un claf, y peth pwysig iddo oedd “gallu siarad â rhywun a chael cyngor”.

Mae’n bwysig fod pobl yn teimlo eu bod yn cael cefnogaeth dda a’u bod yn cael digon o wybodaeth. Mae’n sicrhau bod gan gleifion yr hyn sydd ei angen arnyn nhw i wneud penderfyniadau gwybodus am eu gofal ac i’w helpu i allu rheoli eu cyflyrau eu hunain yn well.

At ei gilydd, roedd yn ddigwyddiad buddiol dros ben a alluogodd cleifion canser nid yn unig i siarad â gweithwyr proffesiynol gofal iechyd ond hefyd i dreulio amser yn siarad â chleifion eraill a’u teuluoedd am eu profiadau nhw eu hunain.

Byddwn ni’n sicr yn gwneud rhagor o’r digwyddiadau hyn yn y dyfodol!


Yn y cyfamser, os ydych chi’n adnabod unrhyw un sydd eisiau rhywun i siarad ag ef/hi am ganser, yna ffoniwch Cymorth Canser Macmillan am ddim ar 0808 808 00 00  neu ewch i


Canser yr ysgyfaint: yr arwyddion


Mis Tachwedd yw Mis Ymwybyddiaeth Canser yr Ysgyfaint, ac mae Cymorth Canser Macmillan yn annog pobl i fod yn ymwybodol o arwyddion a symptomau’r afiechyd.

Mae canser yr ysgyfaint yn gyffredin mewn dynion a menywod. Ysmygu yw prif achos canser yr ysgyfaint, ond mae pobl nad ydynt yn ysmygu yn ei gael hefyd. Mae tua 6 o bob 10 o bobl sy’n cael eu diagnosio gyda chanser yr ysgyfaint yn y DU yn 70 oed neu’n hŷn.

Dywedodd Carol Ann Davies, nyrs arbenigol Macmillan mewn Canser yr Ysgyfaint yn Ysbyty Nevill Hall yn y Fenni: “Gallai gwybod pa newidiadau i edrych amdanynt a phryd i weld eich meddyg wneud gwahaniaeth go iawn. Peidiwch â bod ofn os oes gennych symptomau, ond ewch at y meddyg.”

Ewch at eich meddyg os oes gennych unrhyw rai o’r symptomau hyn:

• Peswch sy’n para am fwy na thair wythnos

  • Newid mewn peswch rydych chi wedi ei gael am amser maith.
  • Haint ar y frest sydd ddim yn gwella, neu heintiau ar y frest dro ar ôl tro
  • Bod yn fyr eich gwynt am ddim rheswm.
  • Peswch gwaed.
  • Llais cryg sy’n para am dair wythnos neu fwy.
  • Poen yn eich brest neu eich ysgwydd sydd ddim yn gwella.
  • Teimlo’n fwy blinedig na’r arfer, am gyfnod hir o amser.

Ychwanegodd Carol Ann: “Nid yw’r rhan fwyaf o bobl sydd â’r symptomau hyn gyda chanser yr ysgyfaint; gallant gael eu hachosi gan bethau eraill. Fodd bynnag, os oes gennych symptomau, peidiwch â’u hanwybyddu nhw, ac ewch i weld eich meddyg. Os oes gennych ganser, gorau po gyntaf iddo gael ei ddarganfod.”

Os ydych chi eisiau cymorth neu dim ond eisiau siarad gyda rhywun am ganser yr ysgyfaint, ffoniwch Gymorth Canser Macmillan yn rhad ac am ddim ar
0808 808 00 00, neu ewch i

Using psychological therapy to help people come to terms with their cancer experiences

Macmillan Clinical Psychologist Doctor Rachel Criddle explains how, with the help of a Macmillan training grant, she trained in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy which helps patients move forward from their cancer experiences.


Psychological distress is a significant and ongoing problem for cancer patients. The emotional and psychological long-term side effects of cancer and its treatment include depression, anxiety, memory problems, difficulty concentrating, sexual problems and reduced social skills.

Patients may also have feelings of depression, hopelessness, anxiety and anger and  adjusting  to loss and change in physical functioning, change in physical appearance, self-esteem and sense of self, sexual functioning and intimacy, personal and social relationships and  in life roles and aspirations. Patients also struggle to live with uncertainty about their future and life expectancy.

As part of my role as a Macmillan Clinical Psychologist I am often referred patients that have been traumatised by their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

To be able to help these patients process and come to terms with their cancer experiences I draw on a psychological therapy called Eye movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing Therapy (EMDR).

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is an integrative psychotherapy approach that has been extensively researched and proven to be effective working with distressing or traumatic memories.

The theory behind EMDR is that many psychological difficulties are the result of distressing life experiences which have not been stored in the memory properly and are said to be unprocessed or blocked. These traumatic memories may need help to become processed, and EMDR is one way to do this.

I was able to train in this evidence based therapy for trauma related psychological difficulties using my Macmillan Individual Learning and Development Grant.

With this training I have been able to help many patients move forward from their experiences.

(The case studies I am sharing have all agreed for their stories to appear in this blog.)

 Mrs D – flashbacks / reliving coming round from surgery

Mrs D was referred by a counsellor at a local cancer charity, as the counsellor felt that the patient’s difficulties were complex and would therefore warrant more of a level 4 intervention (support provided by qualified psychologists and psychotherapists).

Mrs D was diagnosed with a pituitary gland tumour and underwent brain surgery to remove this tumour. Mrs D was frequently experiencing flashbacks/re-living experiences (particularly at night) of her ITU (Intensive Therapy Unit) experience when she was coming round from her surgery.

For example, she was reliving her memory of feeling confused, agitated and scared as she was coming around, not knowing in that moment where she was and why she was there,  and of seeing and hearing the hospital equipment around her and seeing a blood stain.

We used EMDR over two to three sessions and following this Mrs D told me in our last session that she was feeling much better.

She had stopped having flashbacks/re-living experiences of her time in ITU and she did not feel scared or afraid any more.

Mrs R – anxiety about stoma reversal surgery

Thirty-four-year-old Mrs R had bowel cancer and was referred for therapy by her Stoma Care Nurse.

Mrs R reported feeling traumatised by her cancer surgery and as a result was feeling very anxious about her upcoming stoma reversal surgery.

EMDR was used to help process her traumatic memories of previous surgery and to plan for the next.

Mrs R reported that she now feels a lot calmer and the memories are less traumatic and more like a normal everyday memory, and she feels more confident in coping with her upcoming surgery.

Mr D – disturbing memories of coming round from surgery

Mr D was a 50-year-old gentleman with head and neck cancer (tongue) who was referred by Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Mr D said he was also troubled at night by the flashbacks/re-living experiences of his ITU experience.

He had disturbing memories of the delusions and hallucinations he experienced whilst coming around from surgery.

Mr D engaged well with the EMDR, but our sessions are currently on hold as he has been unwell.

In 2015, in Wales, 61 Macmillan professionals were successfully awarded a Macmillan Individual Learning and Development Grant.  Often money for training and development is limited within our partner organisations and this grant allows our professionals to access whatever training is most relevant to them and their role and enhances the service they offer their patients.

If you have any questions about cancer talk to our Support Line on 0808 808 0000 (open Monday to Friday 9am to 8pm) or visit our website: for information and support.

You can read more about Rachel’s work for Macmillan Cancer Support here:


Defnyddio therapi seicolegol i helpu pobl i Ddod i Delerau â’u Profiad o Ganser

Mae Rachel Criddle, Seicolegydd Clinigol Meddygol Macmillan, yn esbonio sut, gyda chymorth grant hyfforddiant Macmillan, y gwnaeth hyfforddiant therapi Dadsensiteiddio ac Ailbrosesu Symudiadau’r Llygaid (EMDR) sydd yn helpu cleifion i symud ymlaen o’u profiad o ganser.


Mae trallod seicolegol yn broblem sylweddol a pharhaus i gleifion canser. Mae sgil-effeithiau emosiynol a seicolegol hirdymor canser a’i driniaeth yn cynnwys iselder, gorbryder, problemau’r cof, anhawster yn canolbwyntio, problemau rhywiol a llai o sgiliau cymdeithasol.

Gall cleifion hefyd gael teimladau o iselder, anobaith, gorbryder a dicter a gorfod addasu i golli a newidiadau i weithrediad corfforol, newid mewn ymddangosiad corfforol, hunan-barch a’r syniad o’r hunan, gweithrediad rhywiol ac agosatrwydd, cydberthynas bersonol a chymdeithasol a rolau a dyheadau mewn bywyd. Mae cleifion hefyd yn cael anhawster yn byw gydag ansicrwydd am eu dyfodol a’u disgwyliad oes.

Fel rhan o fy swydd fel Seicolegydd Clinigol Macmillan, mae cleifion sydd wedi dioddef trawma yn sgil diagnosis a thriniaeth ar gyfer canser yn cael eu hatgyfeirio ataf.

Er mwyn gallu helpu’r cleifion hyn i brosesu a dod i delerau â’u profiadau o ganser, rwyf yn defnyddio therapi seicolegol o’r enw Therapi Dadsensiteiddio ac Ailbrosesu Symudiadau’r Llygaid (EMDR).

Mae Dadsensiteiddio ac Ailbrosesu Symudiadau’r Llygaid (EMDR) yn ddull seicotherapi integredig sydd wedi cael ei ymchwilio’n helaeth ac mae wedi cael ei brofi i fod yn effeithiol wrth weithio gydag atgofion trallodus neu drawmatig.

Y theori y tu ôl i EMDR yw bod llawer o anawsterau seicolegol o ganlyniad i brofiadau trallodus mewn bywyd sydd wedi cael eu storio yn y cof a heb eu prosesu neu wedi eu rhwystro. Gall fod angen prosesu’r atgofion trawmatig hyn, ac mae EMDR yn un ffordd o wneud hynny.

Roeddwn yn gallu cael hyfforddiant ar gyfer y therapi hwn, sy’n seiliedig ar dystiolaeth, ar gyfer anawsterau seicolegol sy’n ymwneud â thrawma gan ddefnyddio Grant Dysgu a Datblygu unigol Macmillan.

Gyda’r hyfforddiant hwn rwyf wedi gallu helpu llawer o gleifion i symud ymlaen o’u profiadau.

(Mae’r astudiaethau achos yr wyf yn eu rhannu i gyd wedi cytuno i’w straeon ymddangos yn y blog hwn.)

Mrs D – Ôl-fflachiau / ail-fyw dihuno ar ôl llawdriniaeth

Cafodd Mrs D ei hatgyfeirio gan gwnselydd o elusen ganser leol, gan fod y cwnselydd o’r farn bod anawsterau’r claf yn gymhleth ac felly’n gofyn am ymyrraeth lefel 4 (cymorth a ddarperir gan seicolegwyr a seicotherapyddion cymwys).

Cafodd Mrs D ddiagnosis o diwmor y chwarren bitẅidol a chafodd lawdriniaeth ar yr ymennydd i dynnu’r tiwmor hwn. Roedd Mrs D yn cael ôl-fflachiau/yn ail-fyw’r profiad (yn arbennig yn y nos) o’r ITU (Uned Therapi Dwys) wrth ddihuno o’i llawdriniaeth, yn rheolaidd.

Er enghraifft, roedd yn ail-fyw ei hatgof o deimlo’n ddryslyd, yn aflonydd ac yn ofnus wrth iddi ddihuno, heb wybod ar yr adeg honno ble’r ydoedd a pham yr oedd yno, ac o weld a chlywed offer yr ysbyty o’i hamgylch a gweld staen gwaed.

Defnyddiwyd EMDR dros ddwy neu dair sesiwn ac ar ôl hyn, dywedodd Mrs D wrthyf yn ein sesiwn olaf ei bod yn teimlo llawer gwell.

Nid oedd yn cael ôl-fflachiau/yn ail-fyw ei phrofiadau yn yr ITU bellach ac nid oedd yn teimlo’n ofnus rhagor.

Mrs R – pryder am lawdriniaeth i wrthdroi stoma

Roedd gan Mrs R, sydd yn dri deg pedwar oed, ganser y coluddyn a chafodd ei hatgyfeirio i gael therapi gan ei Nyrs Gofal Stoma.

Dywedodd Mrs R ei bod yn teimlo trawma ar ôl ei llawdriniaeth ar gyfer canser ac o ganlyniad roedd yn teimlo’n bryderus iawn am ei llawdriniaeth i wrthdroi stoma.

Defnyddiwyd EMDR i’w helpu i brosesu ei hatgofion trawmatig o lawdriniaeth flaenorol ac i gynllunio ar gyfer y nesaf.

Dywedodd Mrs R ei bod bellach yn dawelach ei meddwl a bod yr atgofion yn llai trawmatig ac yn fwy fel atgof arferol, ac mae’n teimlo’n fwy hyderus am ymdopi gyda’i llawdriniaeth.

Mr D – atgofion annifyr am ddihuno ar ôl llawdriniaeth

Dyn 50 oed yw Mr D gyda chanser y pen a’r gwddf (tafod) a gafodd ei atgyfeirio gan Nyrs Glinigol Arbenigol.

Dywedodd Mr D ei fod ef hefyd yn cael ei boeni yn y nos gan ôl-fflachiau/ail-fyw ei brofiad yn yr ITU.

Roedd ganddo atgofion annifyr o’r rhithdybiaethau a’r rhithweledigaethau a brofodd wrth ddihuno ar ôl llawdriniaeth.

Roedd Mr D yn dod ymlaen yn dda gyda’r EMDR, ond mae ein sesiynau wedi cael eu gohirio ar hyn o bryd am ei fod wedi bod yn sâl.rachel-criddle

Yn 2015, yng Nghymru, cafodd 61 o weithwyr proffesiynol Macmillan Grant Dysgu a Datblygu Unigol.  Mae arian ar gyfer hyfforddiant a datblygiad yn gyfyngedig iawn yn aml yn ein sefydliadau partner ac mae’r grant hwn yn galluogi ein gweithwyr proffesiynol i gael pa hyfforddiant bynnag sydd fwyaf perthnasol iddyn nhw a’u swydd ac mae’n gwella’r gwasanaeth y maent yn ei gynnig i’w cleifion.

Os oes gennych unrhyw gwestiynau am ganser, siaradwch â’n Llinell Gymorth ar 0808 808 0000 (ar agor o Ddydd Llun i Ddydd Gwener 9am i 8pm) neu ewch i’n gwefan: am wybodaeth a chymorth.

Gallwch ddarllen mwy am waith Rachel gyda Chymorth Canser Macmillan yma:

Neutropinic Sepsis awareness – why we created an All-Wales chomotherapy clert card

Abby Stevens is Macmillan Chemotherapy and Acute Oncology Project Support Officer and part of the team behind the Chemotherapy Alert Card. Here Abby tells about the need for this card and the difference that they hope that this card will mean to the lives of cancer patients who are undergoing chemotherapy.


Abby Stevens and Rosie Roberts

There are two main reasons why project manager, Rosie Roberts (a Chemotherapy Specialist Nurse at Velindre Cancer Centre by background) and I developed the All-Wales Chemotherapy Alert Card.

  1. Firstly to ensure that all cancer patients across Wales who are undergoing chemotherapy receive clear and consistent advice.
  2.  To raise awareness that patients undergoing chemotherapy are at a high risk for developing severe side effects including Neutropenic Sepsis and how to manage this.

Neutropenic Sepsis – a common side effect of chemotherapy

Neutropenic Sepsis is a life threatening reaction to infection and is a common side effect of chemotherapy – however it can be treated if caught early enough.

Therefore it’s vital for patients and Health Care professionals to be aware of the symptoms and the importance of acting quickly.

Chemotherapy Alert CardDesigning the card

Having looked at how written information was given to patients across Wales it was found that whilst all patients received written information on the side effects from chemotherapy some patients would only receive information in a large booklet – which would often sit on a shelf untouched, others a sheet of paper that could be easily lost. Some patients already received a card that they could carry with them. The feedback we received from patients was that these portable cards were useful and well utilised.

We wanted to make sure that all patients had access to clear and concise information which could be kept close to hand.

It was also important for us to have something that would allow patients to easily identify themselves to Health Care Professionals as undergoing chemotherapy, and provide management guidance to these professionals.

An all-Wales approach

We produced the AllWales Alert Card in consultation with each Health Board and Velindre NHS Trust to ensure that this card represented the needs of their patients and Health Care Professionals.

We’ve received agreement from across Wales that all patients who receive chemotherapy within Wales will be given this alert card.

Counteracting information overload

Patients receive a lot of information before starting their treatment and it’s often hard to keep track of everything. The Alert card does not replace the full verbal explanation that patients receive but is a handy portable reminder. This credit card sized alert card is something they should carry with them at all times and provides a reminder of key symptoms they should be looking out for and also the 24 hour contact number for them to access specialist advice and information should they become unwell.

The card also provides key information to Health Care Professionals on the management of these patients and the importance of acting quickly. The contact telephone numbers on the card can be used by Health Care Professionals– and local Acute Oncology Services (AOS) are also available 9-5 Monday -Friday to provide support and guidance.

The card is bilingual to ensure one standardised card for Wales which we hope will become instantly recognisable to Health Care Professionals irrespective of location. If a patient who is receiving chemotherapy in Swansea is on holiday in Wrexham by presenting this card when they attend hospital they will be easily identified as a chemotherapy patient and started on the right management pathway.



Ymwybyddiaeth o Sepsis Niwtropenig – Pam yr ydym wedi creu Cerdyn Rhybudd Cemotherapi Cymru Gyfan

Abby Stevens yw Swyddog Cymorth Prosiect Cemotherapi ac Oncoleg Aciwt Macmillan ac mae’n aelod o’r tîm sy’n gyfrifol am y Cerdyn Rhybudd Cemotherapi.  Yma, mae Abby yn sôn am yr angen am y cerdyn hwn a’r gwahaniaeth maent yn gobeithio bydd y cerdyn hwn yn gwneud i fywydau cleifion canser sy’n cael cemotherapi.


Abby Stevens a Rosie Roberts

Mae dau brif reswm pam fod y Rheolwr Prosiect, Rosie Roberts (Nyrs Arbenigol Cemotherapi yng Nghanolfan Ganser Felindre) a minnau wedi datblygu Cerdyn Rhybudd Cemotherapi Cymru Gyfan.

1) Yn gyntaf, i sicrhau bod cleifion canser ar draws Cymru, sy’n cael cemotherapi, yn derbyn cyngor clir a chyson.
2)  I godi ymwybyddiaeth bod cleifion sy’n cael cemotherapi yn wynebu risg uchel o ddatblygu sgȋl-effeithiau difrifol, gan gynnwys Sepsis Niwtropenig, a sut i reoli hyn.


Sepsis Niwtropenig – Sgȋl-effaith cyffredin cemotherapi

Mae Sepsis Niwtropenig yn adwaith i haint sy’n bygwth bywyd ac mae’n sgȋl-effaith cyffredin cemotherapi – fodd bynnag, gellir ei drin os caiff ei ddal yn ddigon cynnar.

Felly, mae’n hanfodol bod cleifion a Gweithwyr Gofal Iechyd Proffesiynol yn ymwybodol o’r symptomau a phwysigrwydd gweithredu’n gyflym.  final-all-wales-alert-card-13-05-16-2


Dylunio’r cerdyn

Wedi edrych ar sut oedd gwybodaeth ysgrifenedig yn cael ei roddi i gleifion ar draws Cymru, fe ddarganfuwyd, er bod pob claf yn derbyn gwybodaeth ysgrifenedig ar sgȋl-effeithiau cemotherapi, byddai rhai cleifion yn derbyn gwybodaeth mewn llyfryn mawr yn unig – a fyddai’n aml yn eistedd ar silff heb ei gyffwrdd, ac fe fyddai cleifion eraill yn derbyn darn o bapur sy’n hawdd ei golli.  Roedd rhai cleifion eisoes wedi derbyn cerdyn i’w gario gyda nhw.  Yr atborth a gawsom gan gleifion oedd bod y cardiau cludadwy yma’n ddefnyddiol iawn.

Roeddem ni eisiau sicrhau bod gan bob claf fynediad at wybodaeth glir a chryno, a ellir ei gadw wrth law.

Roedd yn bwysig hefyd i ni gael rhywbeth a fyddai’n galluogi cleifion i ddweud yn hawdd wrth Weithwyr Gofal Iechyd Proffesiynol eu bod yn cael cemotherapi, a rhoi canllawiau rheoli i’r Gweithwyr Proffesiynol yma.

Ymagwedd Cymru Gyfan

Fe wnaethom baratoi’r Cerdyn Rhybudd Cymru Gyfan mewn ymgynghoriad â phob Bwrdd Iechyd ac Ymddiriedolaeth GIG Felindre, er mwyn sicrhau bod y cerdyn yn cynrychioli anghenion eu cleifion a Gweithwyr Gofal Iechyd Proffesiynol.

Rydym wedi derbyn cytundeb o bob cwr o Gymru y bydd pob claf sy’n cael cemotherapi yng Nghymru yn derbyn y Cerdyn Rhybudd hwn.

Rhwystro gormod o wybodaeth

Mae cleifion yn derbyn llawer o wybodaeth cyn cychwyn ar eu triniaeth ac, yn aml, mae’n anodd cadw cyfrif o bopeth.  Nid yw’r Cerdyn Rhybudd yn cymryd lle’r esboniad llafar llawn mae cleifion yn ei gael, ond mae’n atgof cludadwy defnyddiol.  Mae’r Cerdyn Rhybudd maint cerdyn credyd, yn beth y dylent gadw gyda nhw bob amser ac mae’n atgof o’r symptomau allweddol y dylent fod yn cadw llygad amdanynt, ac arno hefyd mae rhif cyswllt 24 awr iddynt i gaffael cyngor a gwybodaeth arbenigol, os ydyn nhw’n teimlo’n sâl.

Yn ogystal, mae’r cerdyn yn rhoi gwybodaeth allweddol i Weithwyr Gofal Iechyd Proffesiynol ar reoli’r cleifion yma a phwysigrwydd gweithredu’n gyflym.  Gall Gweithwyr Gofal Iechyd Proffesiynol ddefnyddio’r rhifau cyswllt ar y cerdyn – ac mae Gwasanaethau Oncoleg Aciwt (AOS) lleol ar gael hefyd rhwng 9-5 dydd Llun – dydd Gwener, i roi cymorth a chyfarwyddyd.

Mae’r cerdyn yn ddwyieithog, er mwyn sicrhau un cerdyn safonol i Gymru, ac yr ydym yn gobeithio bydd yn dod yn hawdd ei adnabod i Weithwyr Gofal Iechyd Proffesiynol, ym mhob lleoliad.  Os fydd claf sy’n cael cemotherapi yn Abertawe ar wyliau yn Wrecsam, trwy gyflwyno’r cerdyn hwn pan fydd yn mynychu’r ysbyty, fe fydd yn cael ei adnabod yn hawdd fel claf cemotherapi ac fe fydd yn cael ei roi ar y llwybr rheoli cywir yn syth.