This is Ashley’s personal story. We first spoke to Ashley back in June 2018 following her diagnosis with breast cancer. Her life was put on hold after her diagnosis and then the news did not get any better when further tests showed that her cancer had spread.
A cancer diagnosis can be both frightening and overwhelming. Living with the disease can be an extremely lonely place. Having the HSC care team at her side through these difficult times has been invaluable to Ashley. As soon as she was in touch with us her HSC nurse specialist was immediately on hand to offer support and understand how HSC and the care team could best help.
The importance of emotional support is always a key part of living with cancer and to this end joining a local breast cancer support group was recommended as one of the first steps. The HSC care team located a local group for Ashley, she quickly bonded with a lovely supportive group. Regular events mean that there is always someone there for Ashley to talk to and now she often tells her HSC support team that she sits on the “top table” for coffee and cake with a group of ladies she now calls her friends.
In addition to emotional support, HSC’s service offers valuable contact and care. A weekly call has been made ever since Ashley’s diagnosis to ensure she is supported and sometimes to simply ‘chat through’ how her week has been.
“I am full of praise for your services and regularly tell my employer especially the HR department how I appreciate this employee benefit, and how much HSC have helped me.” – Ashley, 61
She often starts the phone call with concerns but, her nurse is there for her and will listen for as long as she needs her to. The conversations are often a mix of clinical, practical and emotional support, but they are often also the chance for a social catch up and the opportunity for a few shared jokes.
Ashley is an avid walker and keeps fit by walking to and from all her appointments. With all this exercise and her treatment, it’s important to keep the right levels of nutrition and eat healthily, Ashley’s HSC nurse has been there to help her find the right diet. Various treatments have been discussed and Acupuncture has been recommended to reduce symptoms similar to the menopause, another thing you simply don’t need to worry about when having treatment! The HSC team arrange appointments and take any administrative strain so Ashley can focus on keeping well.
And Ashley is doing well, she is working and keeping up with her hobbies. Enjoying walking, going to the theatre and very admirably playing the bongo drums.