Eileen is a cervical cancer survivor
Two years after a smear test showed the presence of abnormal cells, mother-of-one Eileen from Louth received the dreaded news in December 2018 that there was a tumour in her cervix. She had recently lost a number of family members prior to the diagnosis, and within a month she was receiving treatment including chemotherapy, radiotherapy and brachytherapy to remove the cancer.
The treatment worked, but Eileen describes her body as being “like that of a baby and a frail elderly person” all at once as a result of the therapies, which brought on symptoms including early menopause and continence issues. Adjusting to the “new normal” of her post-cancer life was a challenging experience, as previously simple tasks like walking the stairs became an ordeal after what her body had been through.
Eileen understands better than anyone the challenges cancer survivors are faced with, and she is grateful for the support and assistance of counsellors and fellow survivors at her local cancer centre for offering an outlet to speak to others who have been through similar experiences, along with support and advice on how to live her life to its fullest.
We'd love to hear it. Stories like Eileen's help us to raise awareness about cancer, from how to prevent it, to detecting it early, and how to treat it.
Our Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurses are available to help anyone affected by cancer on our Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700. The line is open Monday to Friday 9am - 5pm and you can also contact our nurses via email.