Olivia’s personal story
Cancer support service is ‘missing piece of the jigsaw’.
When 44-year-old Olivia was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in 2017, her husband’s employee benefit package ensured they both got the wider support they needed.
Olivia’s husband works for BT – one of the forward-thinking companies offering employees a policy that includes a bespoke and comprehensive cancer support service from HSC for workers (and eligible loved ones) diagnosed with the disease.
“The one-to-one support from HSC was the missing piece of the jigsaw.”
“My own employer has been supportive. I have private medical insurance through them so everything has been paid for. My insurer has been brilliant too. But the one-to-one support from HSC was the missing piece of the jigsaw.
We’re all different. Everyone reacts differently to their diagnosis and to treatment. Personally, I was overwhelmed by my diagnosis. Scared and anxious. Just trying to get through the day-to-day with three children. There’s too much information and medical jargon out there. It’s a minefield. I didn’t know what type of support I needed, what to expect or what to believe. Once I’d had my mastectomy and reconstruction, I also had an allergic reaction to one component of my chemotherapy and went on to develop an infection and neutropenic sepsis. So that set things back a bit too.”
“There’s too much information and medical jargon out there. It’s a minefield.”
“You can’t underestimate the value of emotional, practical and physical support when you’ve got cancer. And that’s exactly what HSC gave me. You’re not treated as a number.
My Cancer Nurse Specialist came with us to the first appointment with the breast consultant. That really helped. We were trying to process the information but it’s all emotional and the terminology is overwhelming. She was there in the background, taking notes. Then we went for coffee and she explained everything to us in an approachable and objective way – which was exactly what we needed. Since then, she’s been coming to chemo with me and advising me on the side effects of cancer treatment – what to expect and how to reduce any symptoms.”
“My Cancer Nurse Specialist came with us to the first appointment with the breast consultant. That really helped.”
A complement to private medical insurance.
HSC’s holistic approach to cancer complements the service offered by private medical insurers by giving the emotional and practical needs of each client the same weight as their clinical needs. That’s why Cancer Nurse Specialists start by understanding the emotional, practical and clinical needs of a client. It enables them to develop and implement a personalised programme of ongoing support that draws on available resources and creates the optimum environment for a positive outcome.
“Without this ongoing support, practical advice and information, we’d have felt isolated, unprepared and overwhelmed. Nothing has been unexpected and that has really helped. We’d recommend this service to anyone going through cancer treatment. You can’t beat one-to-one, customised support.”
Olivia has now successfully finished treatment and is looking forward to spending time with her children.