Seema and Lee on finding just what they needed

Monday 06 May 2024

Maggie's Edinburgh

Seema is hugging her husband Lee, she is smiling

We’d just got the news, and were in that panic mode – where you don’t know where you are, what’s going on, which way is up or down.


Our sister-in-law recommended Maggie’s. We phoned, not knowing if we needed an appointment or not, not knowing even if we had a specific need, but then just came in.  


As soon as we came in, we just said, ‘Why haven’t we done this before?’


We were waiting for outcomes, waiting to hear what others could do for us, just trying to pull ourselves together. It was actually more me in a way – it felt like I needed someone to talk to. Seema was handling it better than I was. 

That first conversation with Ali (Cancer Support Specialist) at Maggie’s, I really remember it. She listened, she got us talking and she got us talking together. We began to open up on where we were and what we were actually feeling at that stage.

And that was the start of it, we made another appointment, and it felt like there was someone on our side for us.

Finding the right support


We’re not really ones to talk about feelings. We’re more practical. We needed a place where we could go out and let it out, and where we could receive guidance and a listening ear.

Where we could hear that we always have hope – that idea was really important for us – and the medical stuff too. 

I had neuropathy, mentioned it to Ali, she recommended the right person to see, and I was seen quickly. Without that chat, without that mention, I wouldn’t have had that support.

But for me it was also about leaving Lee in a safe place while I went off and had my treatment. I was really happy that Lee had a place where he could sit, relax and have someone to talk to.

We could go in before treatment together, and I could meet him after treatment before we went home.


We do everything together – we’re rarely apart, we really are a team. And I’d be sitting outside waiting for Seema to finish her treatment. Without Maggie’s, I had nowhere to go, just sitting in the canteen. Seema would be in for 2-3 hours, and I didn’t want to go home.

But in Maggie’s, you could go in, have a chat, have a seat. If you need to, have a deeper conversation. That made such a difference. There’s nowhere else you could go where people are in the same boat and experiencing the same thing in some way. It was nice to have those conversations, to open up, sit relax and be myself, whatever mood I was in that day.

Everyone would welcome Seema when she came in after chemo. It was a nice end to the session. Rather than just going to the hospital, and going home, the Maggie’s bit was the part of the hospital visit we’d look forward to most.

Maggie’s is the release from the clinical space, it’s like the decompression after the hospital. By the time we’re in the car, we’ve moved on and we’re heading home.

Seema and Lee sitting on a bench and looking lovingly at each other

How the space can help


Other people in Maggie’s are in different states of emotion. It’s ok to cry, be angry, sit quietly if you want to. You can do that quite safely, it doesn’t matter. And you never feel like you’re a burden, ever.

It’s reassuring to know it’s not just you feeling that – everyone feels the same, maybe not at the same time. It helps soften and understand your own feelings and other people’s feelings. And I think it’s really lovely.  


Sometimes there’s laughter, sometimes there’s upset, there’s that range of emotions around you, and are able to open up emotions naturally a bit more yourself. Whatever you’re experiencing, you can be that.  

There’s been a couple of times where we’ve been hit hard by news – there have been ups and downs. But as soon as we’ve come into Maggie’s, the staff have dropped what they’re doing to look after us. To take the time to talk with us. And that’s something quite unique. 

They talk you through, pick you back up, walk through what you’re going through, and help find the steps to pick you back up again.


I have also done a couple of the workshops – the Look Good Feel Better and Head Wrappers too – for make-up and for hair and wigs. All these confidence builders. As a woman, that’s the kind of thing that makes the difference. And I don’t want to look ill. It’s the last thing I need. If I feel I look ok, then I am ok as well. I almost always leave the building feeling better.  

At Maggie’s, I feel I can relax, because I can leave my partner in safe hands. It really is a space for everyone.

We’re here with you

Our cancer support specialists, psychologists and benefits advisors are here for everyone with cancer, and all the people who love them.

Come and see us at your nearest Maggie’s, call us on 0300 123 180 or email us at

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