Should I take a place which could go to someone else?

Five years ago I was diagnosed with lobular cancer in my left breast which was  removed via a lumpectomy followed by chemo and radiotherapy.  Although I am mid-50s, I have been very healthy since (work, gym, cycling, running…) but mammogram in April this year found DCIS in my right breast.  Only pre-cancerous cells so no chemo or radiotherapy needed this time.


I had a mastectomy and reconstruction four weeks ago and am feeling well and things (touch wood) have gone very well so far.  I have had the best treatment you could imagine.


I have been offered some alternative therapies by the NHS trust to support me post operation and I have an appointment to discuss these in a few weeks.  I am very keen to take up the opportunity - as although I am really well and a strong person, sometimes I find things a bit overwhelming (have a cry on my own for a couple of minutes but then can move on).  I would like to see if this would help.


I am concerned that I should leave the place for someone who is in a much worse condition that I am.  I know that resources in the NHS are limited.  I would be very keen to hear people’s honest views (please don’t tell me to go if you feel I should leave it for someone else to be nice).


I am also a little concerned that people (work and family) will feel I am not coping if I accept the place.  I need to be strong for my kids and my husband and don’t want work to think that I won’t be able to do my job properly as I need to continue earning to see the kids through uni.


Would welcome your thoughts.






Hi pigofhappiness

I would say, it’s entirely up to you & if you’re eligible & you want to, then why not? You have been through a lot as well. 

Places do have to be taken to keep these services going as well & if there’s a high demand, then it might help to increase the number of places. 

It’s good to see how your Trust is offering a more holistic approach - encourage them! 

ann x

If you feel that you would benefit from alternative therapies than definitely take up the opportunity. As for work thinking that you can’t cope, I personally think it shows the opposite. By taking advantage of an opportunity to help you cope you are proving yourself to be pro active in your own personal well being. As Ann said places do need to be taken up and if everybody had the attitude of someone else might need it more, take up might not be high enough and the service withdrawn.

Julie xx

Hi pigofhappiness

I just wanted to send you a hug and say I agree with what ann and Jewels have said, great advice.

It was an incredibly thoughtful message for you to send out, to think of others and NHS resources before accepting a place. I’d say that if you feel that the therapies would help you, then why not try them. Your consultant/team wouldn’t have offered it to you if they didn’t think you were deserving of a place. It’s hard to say who needs such places - not everyone is open to the idea of alternative therapies for a start. You have gone through 2 episodes and clearly could do with a bit of support, so I would encourage you to take up your place without any guilt.

As for others thinking you aren’t coping - I fully agree with what Jewels said.

I wish you all the best for your recovery and the alternative therapies - I’d be interested to hear what you think of them if you feel like dropping back in to this chat.

Evie xx


ive had the same thoughts as you as to whether to take up a place. I’ve had a mastectomy and a failed reconstruction but no chemo/radio, ‘just’ hormone therapy. 

I attended a Moving Forward course on Friday and the first thing the facilitator said was, everyone is equal regardless of the journey, you’ve all been diagnosed with breast cancer. That’s a huge thing to deal with and you’ve been through that twice so yes I think you should take up a place. 

I cant believe anyone would think negatively of you for doing so, just that you deserve it. 

Very best wishes to you 

KJ xx