Hi All. I’m now nearly 4 months post treatment and am wanting to compile people’s experiences of breast cancer specifically in the Cumbria area. It’s a beautiful but big area with a big rural community as well and it’s hard to find support groups so I’m also looking to start a forum chat or support / meet up if anyone is interested? Would be great to be able to support each other and share our experiences, advice, information etc :slight_smile:
Sue x

Hi Sus ,I went though treatment with a lady from South Cumbria (Barrow) who had to travel for her treatment/consultations to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and Royal Preston hospital ,I think she was offered Newcastle as the other option for Radiotherapy !!!It certainly is a vast county and I can imagine difficult to provide support groups that are easily accessible .I am still in touch with her but she doesn’t use the forum now and I think she is "moving on " from the experience now 2 years on.What sort of information were you wanting to collate ? Jill.

Hi Jill. Thanks for your reply. Having gone through breast cancer and treatment I am determined to do something to try and make a difference in Cumbria as I have met a few people who have struggled with the lack of support / groups here. I did myself but have come through it wanting to try and get some changes happening as I doubt I or the other couple of ladies I got talking to are / have been the only ones! I would like to do it through Breast Cancer Care as it has helped me so much and I honestly don’t know if I would have coped as well without BCC but I still missed actually being able to meet up with people and a lot of people have said the same thing to me when I have asked them. Any advice would be much appreciated! There are no Moving Forward groups here either - it seems to be a forgotten area of the country! I used to live in Yorkshire a couple of years ago and found that there is a lot of support there I could have got to but in Cumbria…nothing! A lot of people are told they have Breast Cancer and are then just left to get on with it apart from the people you see during treatment which I have to say has been very good. I did a lot of googling and research etc and found BCC and it was a real lifeline for me especially just after diagnosis.

Where in Cumbria are you ?I have former colleagues who work /used to work in Cumbria (children’s services ) and I know it is very challenging to provide services in such a vast ,diverse county .If you don’t have your own transport it’s very difficult .On line may well be the way to go ,with occasional meet ups in different locations around the county .Big challenge though !!!You would def need support of BCC /Macmillan /local independent cancer charities .I think Cancer Care in Lancaster may offer services to South Cumbria ,may be worth speaking to them.

Hi Jill.
I’m in North West Cumbria but I met a lady from further South who said there isn’t a lot down there either support wise specifically for Breast Cancer but I guess I’m initially thinking North, Mid and West/East Cumbria. Not that I’m leaving South Cumbria out! As you say, it’s a very big county! I will speak to Cancer Care in Lancaster though. I know I will need a lot of help but I would like to make a start with something however small at first. Apparently a lot of women don’t know how to check themselves or go to their mammograms either according to my lovely female GP who has been very supportive to me so I’m hoping to get to some other local groups to give them some leaflets/ information ( with Breast Cancer Care + others permission) and talk about my experience if they would find that useful/helpful. That’s a separate issue though :). I think you’re right re online first though with a support thread and then think about occasional meet ups.

Good luck ,let me know how you get on.

Thank you Jill.
I will :slight_smile:

Hi Sue,


I’ve just found your messages online after a search for support groups in Cumbria.

My mum lives in Northwest Cumbria, and has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and I think she could do with some support from women who are in the same position, or have been.

Have you managed to set up any support circles? Or have you found anyone you could refer me too please?


Many thanks for your time.



Joe -the breast care unit treating your Mum should know of any support groups locally to you .I don’t think Sue posted again about setting up a support group.Would your Mum come on line and chat - this forum is very supportive , informative and quite informal.

Hi Joanne. No group set up as yet… There are two cancer support groups, one in Carlisle and one in Whitehaven which are for people with cancer but not specifically breast cancer. A lady I spoke to several months ago who is having treatment at Whitehaven hospital told me she hadn’t found any breast cancer support groups either and wanted to be able to meet up with people going through the specific issues and experience and possible advice regarding breast cancer. We meet up informally to support each other and would be happy to give your mum any support we can. We are currently in touch with Whitehaven hospital about us setting up a support group as there is definitely a big need for us to all support each other in any way we can here in West Cumbria. You or your mum can message me personally about more info on this but I don’t know how you do this! Can you help Jill? As to the forum definitely encourage your mum to use it as I did find it very helpful but also encourage her to speak to the Breast Cancer Care helpline as they can also arrange for someone to support her through their 'Someone Like Me ’ service which I also found invaluable. We often think we can deal with these things ourselves or don’t want to bother anyone or ask for any help or support but if it’s one thing I’ve learned from breast cancer being always fiercely independent it’s let others help where they can and meeting up with or chatting to people going through the same thing can really help you through it. Hugs to you and your mum and let me know if I can help in any way.
Sue xx

Hi Sue ,you need to go into your profile on the forum and tick the box " enable private messaging " and you can send private messages .Joe will need to do the same .Good luck in setting something up .

Thanks Jill :slight_smile:

That’s great Joe :). Let me know if your mum wants to meet up at any point.

Sue x

It’s a very friendly,welcoming forum Joe - so I hope your Mum feels able to post .Whats her user name I will look out for her .

Crikey I get what you’re saying! My dad died of heart failure just before I got bc and my mum has also had a heart attack but is ok now. My Gran died of a heart attack too. No breast cancer or any other type of cancer in the family so I’m the first to have had cancer and not heart disease :/. It’s all hard to make sense of but getting all the info you can and talking to people who are or who have gone through it will help (I’d recommend only going on Breast Cancer Care or MacMillan for sensible advice! Don’t randomly google stuff! My doc banned from anything other than these sites…). It’s probably the toughest challenge you can go through - it certainly has been for me, but we do come out the other side :slight_smile: It feels like our body has let us down and we don’t have any control over what is happening to us but our bodies are also amazing at coping with things and recovering. Which we do :slight_smile:
Sue x


You are wanting to compile people’s experiences in Cumbria. My daughter has been in touch with you  (Joanne) and recommended I contact you. It would be really good to have a breast cancer support group in the area. Is there one near Cockermouth. I really feel terrible about having told my daughter and worrying her but she has been such a support to me. She lives ten thousand miles away but is doing so much to support me but it would be lovely for me to be able to speak to someone who has been there and come out the other side. I thought she would have been cross if I had not told her but she said she would have been more upset than cross that I had kept something like this from her.

As for treatment I am receiving I cannot complain. It is being spread between Whitehaven and Carlisle. My op is only eight weeks after my initial routine mammogram. Every member is staff I have met has been lovely. They all put a positive spin on things but I find it hard to understand all they say. Does the mind and memory ever return to normal. I am sorry this is such a babble of thoughts. Any info on support groups would be welcome.

Love to you.

Still madwoman but maybe not quite so mad as three weeks ago.

Hi not quite so madwoman :slight_smile:
I had my treatment between Whitehaven and Carlisle too. They were as you say all lovely and positive but I felt it would have helped me a lot to have been able to meet up with people more locally who were or had gone through bc too as any advice, experience and support can help such a lot. I’m putting some contact details up in Whitehaven so if you have a look then give me a ring or text or apparently you send me a personal message on here or I can you but I still haven’t worked out how to do it yet! I live fairly near Cockermouth and no there isn’t anything so that’s why I wanted to set something up. I know how you feel about telling your daughter and I wondered whether to at first but now I’m so glad I told mine. It was definitely the right thing to do. Yes they worry of course but knowing that you’re getting treated and found it early is good. And mine would have been very mad at me if I hadn’t told them! It’s been positive in a way for them too as they have now downloaded the check your breasts app and have told all their friends to do the same :). The mind and memory do get better. You have ups and downs mind wise and 'chemo brain ’ does exist! Concentrating and managing things that require a lot of information or sequencing things can be a bit of a challenge for many people but it does get better :). Have you had your op now?
Sue xx

Welcome to the forum Madwoman !!!

Are you having your op at Carlisle? I had mine there and they were wonderful. All the staff were and the breast surgeon was lovely and very good. You’ll be in good hands :slight_smile:
Sue x

Hi Madwoman
I know it doesn’t seem real. It takes a while to sink in and then you’re so busy thrown into the op, chemo appointments, radiotherapy, breast surgeon check ups, oncologist check ups…all great and reassuring as it’s all helping you get through it and recover but you don’t really get time to think about what you’re going through. But we do, you will :). We are much stronger than we think. The breast nurse will go through everything but take something to write things down as I found everything hard to take in and then remember once I’d got home. It really helps. I got given the Breast Cancer Care Primary Breast Cancer pack at Carlisle hospital. Did you get one? I took that with me and wrote down stuff in there quite a lot. It has a lot of helpful stuff in there too. I also found phoning the clinical nurses at Breast Cancer Care really good too if I had any further worries or questions. If you phone the helpline for Breast Cancer Care there is a different number they’ll give you to speak to one of the nurses. Do you have support at home for when you get home after your op? I know you mentioned your daughter is a long way away?
Sue x