Claire on support from a Macmillan nurse

Claire hugs nurse Shez. They are both in a hospital setting.
Claire hugs nurse Shez. They are both in a hospital setting.

Before starting treatment for her brain tumour, Claire was introduced to Shez - a Macmillan nurse at the hospital. Claire continued to meet with Shez every Friday.

It was comforting for her to know that Shez was there to solve any problems if she had them. Claire also liked that Shez could warn her in advance of what to expect in terms of side effects of treatment.

Claire's story

Having Shez there was a real bonus. She sat all the way through the meeting with the consultant when he talked about what had happened and what was going to happen. And then after that we went into her little room and she talked me through the mask being made. The surgeons and consultants were so busy, but Shez could spend the time with me to explain and answer all my questions. She was the perfect person to talk to, really calm and smiley. The perfect person to talk to actually.

Some of the stuff that Shez was talking about was quite frightening and not really what I wanted to hear. But she said it in such a way that it was just another thing on the list – something I just had to go through. Every Friday I had an appointment with Shez where I’d go and chat through how I was feeling, if I had any symptoms and how tired I was. It was very useful because you just felt somebody was looking out for you.

It was nice knowing she was there if I needed her. I just found her nice to go and talk to. She was lovely and supportive, with a very warm glow about her. She was a positive influence on me, very knowledgeable, and could help with any practical questions that I had.

She was amazed that I didn’t need steroids because I wasn’t feeling sick from the radiotherapy. But she would have helped if I did, and I know she helped other people who weren’t as lucky as me.

I felt like I could ask Shez absolutely anything and she would have tried her absolute best to help. And if she didn’t know the answer, she would have found it out.

The last meeting with Shez we had a good chat. She warned me that the next two weeks, after the radiotherapy had ended, I’d probably feel more and more tired than I already was. She was absolutely right, but it was good to have forewarning of it. I found it useful to know what was in store – because then you can then get yourself ready, so that you can almost preempt it in your head before it happens. Shez was a very special person, I definitely felt that we were on the same wavelength. There was a massive difference between Shez and other nurses I met. They were all very good, but Shez seemed to have a little bit more time.