Sue Henry is a firm advocate of the five ways to wellbeing – to take notice, be active, keep learning, connect and give - five simple actions that we can all take to improve our mental wellbeing that could leave us feeling happier, more positive and able to get the most from life.
After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016, Sue experienced the benefits for herself when she used it to help her through her treatment.
‘Cancer leaves you with the feeling of a total loss of control. The ‘five ways’ was something I could do for me. Something I knew I could take control of to make me feel better.’
Sue began her treatment with two surgical operations followed by 6 months of chemotherapy and 4 weeks of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Cancer centre and wanted keep as active as possible.
‘I was determined not to let the cancer take over my life. I needed to get out in to the fresh air. ‘Taking Notice’ of my surroundings and ‘Being Active’ made me feel so much better. After my treatment my husband would drop me off and I would walk round the marine lake or through Storeton woods, taking pictures. I used to challenge myself by walking a little bit further or faster each time.’
‘Towards the end of my chemotherapy I had very little energy. Some mornings I couldn’t even get up the stairs, but I’d set myself a challenge to walk up 4 steps, then the next day I would do 5 and the day after, 6. I got stronger day by day’
I found great support online through the Macmillan forums ‘Connecting’ with and ‘Giving’ support to others who were in the same position as myself.
I ‘learnt’ a lot about myself and how I manage things. The diagnosis of cancer never really leaves you. I’d describe it as living through a storm and riding it out. I made it through.
In May 2017 Sue was asked to start the Delamere 5k race for life and took part with her daughter, her grandchild, young nephews sisters and friends.