Mandy on supporting Claire through incurable cancer
Mandy is a Macmillan community nurse, visiting people affected by cancer and supporting them in their own homes. One person who’s received increasing support from Mandy is Claire, who was living with terminal cancer at the age of 40. As well as being there for Claire, Mandy also supported Claire’s family when they’re having a hard time dealing with the prognosis.
'She can say whatever she wants to say to me.'
I first met Claire around a year ago. I met her at her house and she is an amazing person, completely inspirational. She’s a young lady who’s had a very long cancer journey and has got such a feisty and strong presence.
What makes Claire very different is that she just maintains that normality for everybody, and she looks like she does it so easily, though I’m sure that can’t always be the case.
She’s a relatively young woman, and it’s not typically how we expect things to go, so I think the diagnosis must have just been absolutely devastating. But she's bounced back and made everything such a positive experience for everybody involved. And her family are completely on board with that.
I think Claire looks on my support as another pair of ears – a different person to talk to who’s outside of the family. I'd like to think she can say whatever she wants to say to me about things – things that maybe she wouldn’t share with others.
I'd like to consider myself a resource for Claire. There have been occasions when I’ve needed to signpost Claire to the hospice for treatment, for example. So I’d like to think she looks at me as a good, strong resource.
Sadly, Claire died in February 2015. We'd like to thank her family for allowing us to continue sharing her story, so others can benefit from Macmillan's support.