Morecambe woman breaks silence on mental health after cancer battle

Elle Roberts, of Wise Workshops, Morecambe.
Elle Roberts, of Wise Workshops, Morecambe.

A woman who battled cancer twice has opened up about the effect the illness has had on her mental health.

Elle Roberts, from Morecambe, suffered a double blow when her cancer returned during her remission for leukaemia.

The 36-year-old was originally told she had a three per cent chance the cancer would return.

“It was a shock to be told less than a year later it had come back,” said Elle.

“I think because I put all my energy into it the first time around, this time I just couldn’t do it mentally.”

After finding a donor in Norway, Elle successful had stem cell transplant in May last year but struggled with the confinement of hospital.

She spent five weeks in hospital and it wasn’t until she returned home that other problems began to emerge.

“You don’t just have the transplant and that’s it, skip off into the sunset and everything is fine,” she said.

“It was a huge shock to my system, a week after coming out of hospital I went through severe depression and anxiety.”

Elle suffered with chronic fatigue and depression, and missed being at her work, Wise Up Workshops. 
The community group, set up by Elle, uses art forms to promote personal development, confidence and communication skills in individuals with low confidence or additional needs.

“My mind was busy creatively but I couldn’t do anything with it, I couldn’t go out on my own for six months,” she said.
“I think there is a gap in the market for people post-transplant but there are plenty of organisations locally out there to help, I just didn’t know what I needed at the time.

“Now when people walk through the Wise Up doors who have had it I can honestly empathise and sympathise.”

For Elle, her community organisation is her saviour.

“I feel extremely lucky to have Wise Up. They are my family, my therapy is being around children who inspire me.”

Wise Up have set up a community cafe, where you can eat, play games and make friends at the Morecambe War Memorial Hall, next to the Police Station, every Monday, 10am-1pm. Call 07506295782 to find out more.