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Personal journeys and stories of cancer survivors

Personal stories

"The Olive Tree is a place of peace and positivity. A place I have turned to on many occasion for help and support. I don’t know how I would have coped without the support of Marilyn and her team of therapists and volunteers."

L. Patient

"The Olive Tree gave me a place where I could go and share my experience. It is a place where I can go , where I can be myself, where nobody stares at you, because they understand how you are feeling."

S.  Patient

"The Olive Tree Centre has provided me with the most amazing support since my initial diagnosis and especially since finding out that my cancer has spread. The treatments have helped me cope so much better with my situation and helped me realise that life can still be good and enjoyable despite everything. I have absolute trust in everyone working at the Olive Tree and know this is somewhere I can come and feel welcome, safe and cared for."

J.  Patient 

"Positively transformed my life!!"

J. Patient 

"The Olive Tree has been a very valuable place to come for me, and my family, and benefited us a lot , particularly the therapies and yoga, following the death of our beloved Father. The Staff and volunteers are wonderful, very caring and friendly. I feel it helps lift my mood coming to the centre."

S. Bereaved carer

"Thank  you! Thank you! Thank you! The centre has been a haven for me since my husband was diagnosed last year. I wouldn’t have coped so well without you and I always look forward to my visits. Thanks to the staff and all the wonderful volunteers."

J. Carer

"My mum died of cancer on December 18th 1986. She had been having treatment on and off for 8 years and so her visit to hospital was not unusual. It was unusual for the hospital to ring and insist we went that afternoon. My Dad was working as a bricklayer out on a job; we didn't know where. My sister was across from Bristol as it was nearly Christmas. We sat in a ward without even the curtains around the bed. After a few hours she died peacefully. And then there was nothing.

22 years later in late November my Dad was diagnosed with leukaemia. We met a Macmillan nurse who was available any time, he had a private ward, my step mum had a bed next to his, I visited the Olive Tree and got some leaflets.  The doctors would answer my and my sister’s questions directly and honestly. We knew how the disease would progress, his chances, how he might die. Two weeks after diagnosis he passed away peacefully. 

People do not know what to say, whether to mention my Dad or cross the road. There are only so many times that you can tell your family how you feel when you know they are going through exactly the same emotions. I remembered my leaflets,  I did not know what I wanted from the Olive Tree but I took my step mum along one day. I was unable to help her and hoped that if she had the same information as me, she could help herself.

Taking the first step to do anything new can be daunting and it took me 2 years to go along and ask for help. I had a rash that would not go away, nothing from the doctor touched it. I was greeted by Marilyn who instinctively felt that hypnotherapy would be a good idea. I had 3 sessions and surprisingly a lot of my thoughts and experiences in that room were about my mum. I felt empowered by my ability to make changes about how I felt. I felt that this time I had some choices about how I dealt with this, I could tell my sons that if they had any issues about their Grandad, they would be welcome at the Olive Tree too. Sometimes it is necessary to take the chance if you want to help yourself and ultimately those around you."

L  Bereaved family member

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Charity Details

Olive Tree Cancer Support Centre
Registered Charity No: 1157386
Crawley Hospital
West Green Drive, Crawley
West Sussex RH11 7DH

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