“Will you have a cup of tea, love?”
Imagine being thrown head-first into a world where nothing and I mean nothing feels familiar. A world where life doesn’t feel right or real. That’s what it’s like when cancer makes its way into your family. Your normal day-to-day routine is replaced with countless days of tests, scans, appointments, side effects, treatments, results. This new world is scary. It’s unfair. It’s painful. And it’s even harder at Christmas time.
At St. Therese’s Oncology Ward here in the Mercy University Hospital we try to do everything we can to help cancer patients and their families through what can be the most challenging of times. You can help too.
Martina and Maria have been working on St. Therese’s Ward since it opened in 2001. And in those 15 years they have met hundreds of cancer patients and their families. So many families have experienced their kindness – and their offer of a cup of tea!
“I work the night shift in St. Therese’s. I find that as the lights are dimmed and people settle down for the night, the happenings of the day all seem to play on their troubled minds. The chemo fatigue, scan results, maybe being told news they hoped they wouldn’t hear. I find a listening ear and the familiarity of a cup of tea can make all the difference at a time like this. I suppose there is something so comforting and homely about the cup of tea that tells them, yes everything just might be alright after all.”
“It never gets easy seeing new people arrive at the ward for treatment. I can see how scared they are and how uncertain they feel. But it does get easier for patients and their families. And in the time it takes me to remember exactly how they like to take their tea, they’re already getting used to the place! I’ve given cups of tea to so many people over the years…”
As the old saying goes, there’s not a lot that a cup of tea can’t solve. Unfortunately, this does not extend to cancer. And that’s why we need you. You can help provide services, such as counselling, to patients and their loved-ones as they navigate their way through the cancer journey. You can help us provide psycho-oncology services that are vital to patients struggling to come to terms with their cancer diagnosis. You can help us provide assistance to families that simply cannot make ends meet when cancer forces them to give up work.