Each person whose life has been affected by cancer has a different story to tell.

We need to listen and learn from their experiences if we are to achieve our ambition of wrapping services around each individual patient and of ensuring that patient experience is taken as seriously as the clinical effectiveness of their care and treatment.

Scroll down to read, hear and view the personal stories told to us by patients and carers. Our thanks to those who have been willing to share.


Barbara’s Story

Former Harrogate teacher Dr Barbara Hibbert talks here about taking control of her life and her experience of palliative care after she was diagnosed with terminal bowel cancer in October 2016. She describes the importance of spotting symptoms early and understanding the potential links between lifestyle and the risk of cancer.

Deborah’s Story

Deborah was diagnosed with bowel cancer in June 2015 after having symptoms for around a year. and has undergone both bowel and liver surgery. Here Deborah talks about what can at times feel like the cancer ‘conveyor belt’; her fight to have her questions answered and how it feels to learn ‘a new normal’.

Caroline’s Story

Caroline had none of the recognised risk factors when she was diagnosed, aged 51, with bladder cancer – a cancer that she believes needs to be better understood and recognised by GPs. She urges women not to simply accept their symptoms as gynaecological but to push harder for specialist referral at any early stage.

Sara Williamson's Story

Sara’s breast cancer treatment journey has been far from straightforward. She understands the importance of support networks and creating positivity for patients who are going through and beyond treatment. She now volunteers and gives her time to help others to overcome their fears and to get the help with the simple things that can make a huge difference to their lives.

My own personal cancer patient story

So far, our Cancer Alliance has held two stakeholder events to develop a shared understanding of progress made so far, and how we can work more effectively together as a partnership to achieve our transformation ambitions.

We asked a number of patients who attended our second stakeholder event to tell us what they think went well with their cancer care and treatment - and how they think things can be improved, based on their experience.

A Carer's Perspective - Jonathan's Story

Carers still need support after their loved one is no longer around - perhaps even more so. Read Jonathan's experience of caring for his partner, Barry.

Having A Meaningful Conversation - How It Can Help

Our colleagues in the Macmillan Living With and Beyond Cancer Programme for South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and Bassetlaw have produced a video about how a meaningful conversation can help those affected by cancer to find care and support that is tailored to their individual needs. Hear Peter, Karina, Nicola and Tracey talk about what the meaniningful conversation meant for them.

Phil's Story

Phil Kelly was the first patient voice representative on the West Yorkshire and Harrogate Cancer Alliance Board and is a Trustee of Action Bladder Cancer UK. Read his experience of bladder cancer care and treatment.

Jane's Journey To Improved Health and Fitness

Jane Mullins is nowhere near the woman she used to be before her cancer diagnosis – but she’s delighted about it!.....