Caitríona Plunkett, Survivor Support volunteer

Caitríona Plunkett, Survivor Support volunteer

“I’d googled ‘cancer helpline’ and it came up with the number for the Nurseline - 1800 200 700. My head was racing, but the person at the other end of the line calmed me and told me to just take it all day by day."

On the same week as her 35th birthday, mother-of-two Caitríona Plunkett received the news that no-one wants to hear.

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It wasn’t anything dramatic like in the movies. I just remember the consultant telling me: ‘I’m very sorry but there are cancer cells present’.

Caitríona
Caitríona Plunkett, Survivor Support volunteer

Getting her breast cancer diagnosis was a truly “life-changing” moment, as Caitríona describes it, but she was thankful at being able to come to the hospital prepared after a call to the Irish Cancer Society Nurseline the day before.

“I’d googled ‘cancer helpline’ and it came up with the number for the Nurseline- 1800 200 700. My head was racing, but the person at the other end of the line calmed me and told me to just take it all day by day. Those very simple words had a huge impact on me, and I will be forever grateful for them.

“That call gave me the strength to go into my appointment the following day to get that diagnosis and face it- so much so that I was able to go through appointment after appointment, scan after scan, session after session of chemotherapy, and just take it day by day.”

With the support of her family and her husband Conor, Caitríona came through the treatment and is now cancer free.

Little did she realise at the time, that first conversation over the phone would later come full-circle as she chose to help those in a similar situation by joining the Irish Cancer Society’s Survivor Support service.

“The Survivor Support service allows people who have been diagnosed or are going through their treatment to be able to talk to somebody who has had an experience of it.

“You have the support of your friends and family, but sometimes you just want to talk to somebody who you don’t know but know that they’ve been through it. It offers a confidential space where they can speak and not be judged, and talk things through.

“Even now it’s something I always say to any of the ladies I get to work with; just take it day by day.”

Both the Irish Cancer Society’s Nurseline and Survivor Support service are funded through donations from the public, which is why we are urging people to give as generously as they can for Daffodil Day 2020, proudly sponsored by Boots Ireland, on Friday 27 March.

Daffodil Day is Friday, 27 March

Both the Irish Cancer Society’s Nurseline and Survivor Support service are funded through donations from the public, which is why we are urging people to give as generously as they can for Daffodil Day 2020, proudly sponsored by Boots Ireland, on Friday 27th March.

Boots employees on Daffodil Day
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