“At first it felt wrong, wanting to sit and talk about myself, but it was absolutely the best thing I could have done.”
Ed Duckett from Burton-in-Kendal was diagnosed with an aggressive tumour in his eye, by chance, after noticing a change in his vison and going for an eye test. The optician referred him to the specialist eye unit at Royal Liverpool Hospital where he underwent a complex set of procedures which involved stapling implants to the back of his eyeball and proton therapy.
The tumour was successfully treated and Ed threw himself back into his busy life as a family man, with his wife Amy and two young boys, and also returning to work as the MD of family firm Duckett Building Services which involves managing a team of around 30 employees.
As is often common following cancer diagnosis and treatment, Ed initially thought he was over what he had experienced, but the after-effects of what he had been through soon became apparent.
“I became very stressed out and was bottling up how I was feeling. I hadn’t realised how much the shock of the diagnosis had affected me and around the first anniversary of my operation I had an anxiety attack and had to call the paramedics,” said Ed.
Ed also began to struggle to cope at work and realised he needed some extra support so reached out to CancerCare after learning about the charity from Amy and his sister-in-law,
He was referred for counselling with professional therapist Sue Rowe at our Slynedales Centre in Lancaster.
“At first it felt wrong. Wanting to sit and talk about myself as I am usually the sort of person who likes to look after everyone else first but it was absolutely the best thing I could have done. Sue has been incredible and has helped me unpack things I didn’t even realise needed unpacking.
“The sessions are my safe place where I can really talk about things without worrying. Sometimes I come with a plan of what I want to talk about and sometimes it’s a total brain-dump and the conversation goes in all different directions. Whatever we discuss I know I’ll always come away bouncing,” said Ed.
Ed used the counselling as a way to “reassess his life” and ensure he achieves a better work life balance. He has also endeavoured to create more of an open culture at his company to ensure that his workers feel confident to talk about issues surrounding their health.
“I really think Sue has helped make me a better person. I would recommend anyone in a similar situation to ask for the help you need. For me it felt almost like an MOT which has made a huge difference to my life but unless I had made that first step, I never would have known,” said Ed.