At the end of last year, when my partner Paul was 50, he started to feel unwell. He was referred to University Hospital Galway where he received a diagnosis of lung cancer. Paul was given a combined treatment plan of 6 weeks Radiotherapy and 4 weeks of Chemotherapy. For the first week of his treatment, Paul had a private room and I stayed in his room with him. Unfortunately Paul developed an infection and his treatment had to be put on hold. We realized then that Paul was going to be in hospital in Galway for a while and I knew that I would have to organize some kind of accommodation close by. I was starting to feel exhausted from all the travel between Galway and Mullingar.
The hospital’s Social Worker told me about Cancer Care West and the supports that were available for families who had a patient receiving long term cancer treatment in Galway. Cancer Care West organized and paid for a Bed and Breakfast across the road from the hospital. I was able to park at Inis Aoibhinn and I could talk with the nurses there whenever I needed to.
The relief of this emotional and financial support was huge; I felt that an enormous weight had been taken off my shoulders. I didn’t have to worry about the cost of accommodation and parking or worry about being away from Paul, and he knew that I was close by and could come to the hospital whenever he needed me.
Paul is a fighter and such a positive person. He says that life begins at 50 and that he has a lot more living to do. We are both grateful to Cancer Care West for all their support and hope that by sharing our story others will know that there is help available for families who are going through the difficult experience of seeing someone they love receive long term cancer treatment.