“Irrespective of how Pat was feeling on any day, he was met with empathy, attention and care. Not wanting to sound too idealistic but often the nurses seemed to us both like angels.”
Anita Hopper tells us why she and her friends organised an art fundraiser and raised almost €25,000 for Cancer Care Nursing at St James’s Hospital, in memory of her late husband Pat.
“I arrived at the idea of fundraising for cancer nursing in a very gentle way. Being with Pat each week for his chemotherapy in St James’s Hospital, I was struck by the courageous, encouraging and positive atmosphere that was in the day ward. This spirit that was in the ward got you from week to week and while receiving chemo is difficult, the way in which it was delivered and the care given to Pat made it something that he did not dread at all. There was a real union of patient doctor and nurse doing everything possible to control or minimize the cancer.
Irrespective of how Pat was feeling on any day, he was met with empathy, attention and care. Not wanting to sound too idealistic but often the nurses seemed to us both like angels. The fear that goes with having cancer was made more manageable and then, as in Pat’s case, his cancer could not be controlled and so then we were into a different kind of need. With every hospital admission of which there were five in the last 2 months of his life, the worlds axis was beginning to shift.
His needs were different and the Doctors and Nurses came in under him like a hammock to support him to the end, when he died in the Donal Hollywood Ward on 12/10 /2014. I remember our two children in their early 20 s were amazed at the work a nurse did. Many of their friends had studied nursing but they never actually knew what a nurse did. Their constant presence, I think, is one of the main comforts in the journey of a cancer patient, be it in the day ward or the inpatient ward. Their role is so wide and so skilled in dealing with all the stages of the cancer illness, from the support of the patient and the support to the family members.
In simple terms, all I can say is that I am amazed at the work a cancer care nurse does. I will be forever grateful to a nurse who picked me up from a virtual collapse on the floor during the harrowing times of Pat’s Illness and I just want to take the time to value it and if possible, contribute to their on-going education and training. At the end of the day, most people are going to need the care of a nurse at some point in their lives. Fundraising for cancer care nursing came from my amazement at how skilled they were and I wanted to raise money to help even one nurse go on to do further education in cancer care.”
We would like to extend our utmost thanks to Anita Hopper, Michael & Mike Garvey, artists Kenneth & Susan Webb and to everyone who donated and supported this fundraiser.