A Priceless Gift
While radiotherapy treatment in itself is not too bad for many patients, it is often given after weeks of chemotherapy, when patients are exhausted and their energy levels depleted. Finding the reserves to start into several weeks of daily sessions, 5 days a week, therefore is daunting. If on top of that you have to travel to University Hospital Galway (UHG) each day for the treatment it is even more overwhelming. So the opportunity to stay right beside the hospital each week, in a place that provides everything you need, as well as a full oncology nursing service, is a precious gift. Cancer Care West provides this gift to 320 patients a year at Inis Aoibhinn, our residential lodge at UHG.
One of our patients, Maureen Healy, describes what it means to her.
“I am staying at Inis Aoibhinn for 5 weeks during my radiotherapy treatment. I have my own en-suite room, which has become a home from home, and my meals are all provided. I can walk over and back to the hospital each day and if I have any concerns the staff are wonderfully kind and helpful. All this means I am able to rest so much more while here so I am coping with my treatment really well. Then when we heard about the Cancer Care West bus, which takes patients to and from Mayo to Inis Aoibhinn, it was like another gift from Heaven for me and my family. I get dropped to the bus in Ballina on Monday morning and it takes me back to Ballina again after my Friday session. No one worries about me during the week as I am well looked after by the wonderful staff at the Lodge. Sean the bus driver is so kind and he makes sure the journey is comfortable and safe. I get all of this for free but really it’s priceless and my family and I are truly grateful.”