My diagnosis of breast cancer came out of the blue. I was lucky as it was caught very early, but that didn’t diminish the shock of hearing I had cancer. I had surgery followed by radiotherapy treatment in Galway, a 2.5 hour drive from my home in Boyle, Roscommon, and realised very quickly that I would have to make my health and recovery my priority.
I have met people who travelled to Galway for their daily radiotherapy treatment and I knew I would have found this very difficult, particularly in winter time, and so was hugely relieved to hear that I had a place to stay at Inis Aoibhinn. If it wasn’t for Inis Aoibhinn I would have stayed in a bed and breakfast for the 6 weeks of my treatment which would have caused additional stress and financial strain.
The first day I arrived at Inis Aoibhinn I experienced the lovely openness and welcome that everyone gives here. At Inis Aoibhinn people are kind and understanding, no-one intrudes but yet you know they are there for you. I feel very safe here. There is great flexibility at Inis Aoibhinn – I would come back after my treatment, make a cup of tea and have a rest when I needed it. At different times during my treatment, my mother and my friend stayed with me for a few days and they were made to feel very welcome as well. At the Cancer Support Centre up the road I have taken part in an art class, I’ve had reflexology and aromatherapy treatments – all free of charge.
You are very fragile with a cancer diagnosis and at the beginning it is very hard to process that you have cancer. Inis Aoibhinn provides the nurturing environment that is needed; it has definitely been part of my healing just to be here.