‘Being told you have bowel cancer is like opening a trap door and falling through it’ said Lesley Perchard who underwent surgery for the disease six months ago. Mrs Perchard was talking to bowel cancer patients and their partners at a coffee morning organised by colorectal nurses Ruth Hargreaves and Andrea Le Page to discuss setting up a support network of kindness for future sufferers.
‘Whilst we as health professionals can explain what is involved with surgical procedures and follow up treatment such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy we do not have the personal experience to talk to patients about how they feel either emotionally or from a practical point of view’ said Consultant General Surgeon Miss Carol Makin.’We recognise that sometimes patients or their partners would like to talk to someone who has been there themselves. With the support of Bowel Cancer Guernsey we invited those who had been diagnosed with bowel cancer over the last three years to join us for coffee and cake (on Saturday 27th Sept) to talk about it’
The support network has been named ‘Mary’s Wish’ in memory of Mary Sebire who was a Trustee of Bowel Cancer Guernsey, following her own experiences she wanted very much to help set up this support structure.
Anyone who has undergone treatment for bowel cancer, their partner or family members are being invited to put their names forward to join ‘Mary’s Wish’. ‘Being involved will not be onerous’ said Mrs Le Page, ‘it could mean just a phone conversation with a newly diagnosed sufferer or perhaps meeting them for a coffee and just helping by talking through what is involved. It’s not about medical talk just ordinary people talking to ordinary people.’
The colorectal nurse team will ask newly diagnosed patients whether they would like to talk to someone who has already completed the journey and if so put them in touch with a Mary’s Wish befriender, They will keep a record of those who are willing to offer support and put people in touch with each other on a confidential basis.
Dan Le Cheminant was diagnosed with bowel cancer three years ago, he said ‘This support is very important. I personally would have been very pleased if it had been in place at the time. Talking to someone who had previously had bowel cancer would have helped to allay a lot of anxiety for me and my family’ Mr Le Cheminant has put his name forward as a befriender.
To find out more about becoming part of the Mary’s Wish support group please contact Ruth Hargreaves or Andrea Le Page on 725241 ext 4282