Focus on Coventry and Warwickshire
A cancer diagnosis can be a lonely and distressing experience, but Macmillan Cancer Support aims to provide reassurance to patients across the county.
Signposting, supporting and informing are all key tasks for Julie Hunt, a Macmillan Cancer Information and Support Centre manager.
Working at George Eliot Hospital in Nuneaton, Julie and her team of volunteers help anyone affected by cancer whether they are a patient, family member, carer or healthcare professional.
Support is given through confidential advice and information about a range of services available designed to tackle the effects of cancer, including the emotional and financial aspects.
The centre staff and volunteers work closely with the oncology and haematology health professionals as well as financial benefit officers, social care, GPs and many more to provide comprehensive assistance to those in need.
Julie said: ‘The best part of my job is knowing I have given my best support and advice, and it has made a real difference to someone’s life.’
‘I wanted to be part of Macmillan as I feel it’s the best charity which completely understands and supports people affected by cancer.’
One on occasion, Julie visited a patient after a request from a lady’s daughter. The lady, who was distressed and agitated, had terminal cancer and was attached to an oxygen pump due to breathing difficulties.
She wanted to attend her granddaughter’s wedding but had some concerns over whether she would be able to in her condition.
‘I asked if she would mind if I acted as her advocate and liaised with the nurse. She was really happy I could do this for her.
‘I spoke to her nurse about options. Their aim was to focus on working towards discharge or a chaperone to the wedding.
‘I learned from her daughter the following week that she managed to be at her granddaughter’s wedding and they thanked me for helping with this.’
On other occasions, Julie has been able to provide reassurance for the loved ones of patients with cancer by talking through the diagnosis with them.
She said: ‘On one occasion I was visited by a family member of a patient on the ward who was terminally ill. The family was at the man’s bedside not understanding what was going on.
‘I was able to support the busy team by taking time to speak to the patient’s family. I was able to sit down and talk through their concerns and reassure the family about certain matters, offering our support and providing information. The family and staff really appreciated our help.’
Macmillan’s mobile information and support service will be touring Coventry and Warwickshire in February, starting at Bedworth on Tuesday 16th February in All Saints Square. Go to macmillan.org.uk/mobileinfo to get more dates and locations.
No one should face cancer alone. Call the Macmillan Support Line, whatever your worries, on 0808 808 0000. Lines are open Mon-Fri 9am-8pm.