I was diagnosed with a neuroendocrine tumour in my pancreas 4 years ago. For the last 3 years, I’ve been having regular injections of a medicine called octreotide to help me manage the symptoms.
I’ve been doing tai chi and mindfulness classes online through Cancer Council Tasmania for the last 12–18 months and plan on continuing with both of them.
Because of my current symptoms, I choose not to drive often, and I’m not confident to shop or do things outside our home alone. Being able to do the classes from home has been wonderful – I don’t have to rely on other people to get there and I can sit down and be comfortable.
Tai chi got me moving. I found exercising and connecting with other people in the class to be good for my mental health. I’m not the sort of person to do tai chi each morning on my own, but committing to a class gives me the discipline to do it.
It is lovely to see the same faces each week and have a conversation with them. It helps that the class is for people with cancer – it doesn’t matter if I feel a bit unwell or I need to take a break during the class.
The mindfulness instructors gave me some useful techniques to help me cope with pain, not being able to sleep, and feeling anxious before appointments. I’ve been able to practise these techniques on my own time.
You can feel very isolated living in a remote area, and these classes have been a great way to reach out and not feel stuck at home. I’m now 70, and being able to use technology to connect with other people has been wonderful.
I’ve found going to these classes uplifting.Mary
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