Vanessa’s Story

There are very few upsides to having cancer but sometimes an unexpected benefit can come during the hardest of times. Vanessa Job is going through a hard time right now. In the throes of treatment for bowel cancer, she is trying to balance the needs of her two younger children, support her older daughter and her two-year old grandson and keep up with her treatments and therapies. Her energy levels may seem high to many of us but Vanessa usually has the energy of 2 to 3 people of her age so right now it’s a lot to keep on top of. Her husband, Ocky, is her greatest supporter and her family are her rock but its not easy. So when she made the decision to stay at Inis Aoihinn while going though 6 weeks of radiotherapy at Galway University Hospital it was with a slightly heavy heart. “I talked it over with Ocky and we decided that it was the best thing to do rather than face into the long journey to and from Sligo every day” Vanessa said. “But I was afraid I would miss the children and I would feel isolated and alone while there.”

And so she began her stay at “The Lodge” coming down every Monday and returning home on a Friday night. Vanessa had heard about the place from friends who had stayed there but she didn’t really know what to expect. “It has turned into such an unexpected source of comfort and support, I couldn’t really do it justice” Vanessa went on to describe. “The peace of mind and quiet time I get here each week just sets me up for the weekend with my kids and grandson, Logan. I can give them so much more of my energy over the weekend knowing I will return to the Lodge and can rest there the following week, as I receive my treatment.”

The care and support of the staff is another huge upside to her weekly stays. “I can relax and just concentrate on myself and my needs because literally everything else is done for me. The nurses are so kind and caring. I don’t have to worry about symptoms or side effects or anything at all. I just have to phone to their office and they look after me.”

The really important upside for Vanessa though has been her ability to go through this time without dragging the ups and downs of it into her children’s day to day lives.  So when she goes back again to Sligo on a Friday night she can cuddle up with Rollo and Bella and have a lovely movie night. “It’s hard being a mum when you are sick so you have to make the best of the times you can be with the children and give them the best of you that you can. Inis Aoibhinn means I can do this and this is a very precious gift for me.”

Vanessa is a lovely, inspirational and positive person. She is making the best of everything she has to do as she gets through this time. Our staff at Inis Aoibhinn are so happy to look after and help her, because Vanessa deserves all the help we can give her. We will miss her when she finishes her treatment but we hope to see her for a cuppa and a chat anytime she is in town.

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