Oesophageal cancer patient Geraldine – ‘The Daffodil Centre were brilliant’
Geraldine Cronin had already encountered the tough practicalities of life with oesophageal cancer from her lifetime working in healthcare, so when she was diagnosed with it herself in 2018 she had some insight into the difficult road that lay ahead for her.
The hospital environment was nothing new to Geraldine, who had worked across a dozen different hospitals herself during a long career across two healthcare professions.
When she first began receiving treatment in early 2019 Geraldine was based in Cork. While she had family and friends in the area, getting to treatment was often a challenge during working hours when lifts might not have been available, so she was thankful to be able to call on the Irish Cancer Society’s services for assistance.
“When I was originally treated in Cork University Hospital the Daffodil Centre there were brilliant,” recalls Geraldine.
“They’re very active, and they arranged for me to get volunteer drives to chemotherapy which was very handy for someone living on their own like me, because I had been relying on friends and family for lifts who have been brilliant in fairness to them.
I never knew that people were doing the Volunteer Driving, and the nurses in the Daffodil Centre arranged for it.
Geraldine moved back to her primary residence in Dublin later in her treatment, and her care was transferred from the team of her consultant in Cork Dr Críositóir Ó Súillebháin to Prof John Reynolds at St James’s Hospital. The move to a different city came with challenges for Geraldine, who had been forced to give up work due to her diagnosis and treatment.
“Financially it is so expensive to get sick. I had to give up work, I’m not earning and I’m single, and contrary to what many people think a cancer diagnosis does not automatically entitle you to a medical card.
“I’m up in Dublin at the moment. I was critically ill late last year and had to have major surgery, so I found it really difficult to be away from my family in Cork, but my friends in Dublin have been incredibly supportive. The cost associated with it all is extensive, it’s a big issue,” added Geraldine, who aims to move back to Cork in the near future.
After some complications from surgery last year Geraldine feels she is doing better at the moment, but is strongly of the opinion that cancer patients need more financial support as they navigate the challenges of such a life-altering diagnosis.
Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line
If you have worries or concerns about cancer, you can speak confidentially to an Irish Cancer Society Cancer Nurse through the Freephone Support Line on 1800 200 700.
Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 5.00pm
For more information
1800 200 700