Redmond McGuire, 56, Cork 

I feel I was one of the lucky ones. I didn’t have any symptoms of pancreatic cancer. I went to the doctor with headaches. And she insisted I get checked and make a day free to go for tests.

An X-ray showed up something in my stomach, so I was referred for a CT scan and on to a pancreatic specialist for a biopsy. This showed pre-cancer cells on the head of my pancreas. By the time I went for surgery in September 2017, it was cancer.

I kept working on and off throughout my treatment and this helped me a lot. Being able to get out and about made a difference.

People often asked how I was so positive, but what else could I do? Sitting at the fire crying wasn’t me. I dealt with it by getting out on the days when I could, and working on the phone or by email when I was able.

I have three children, Cian (17), Molly (16) and Enya (15), and I suppose I would have shielded them from it as much as possible.

I found the Irish Cancer Society’s Volunteer Driver Service helped ease the burden of organising transport to treatment.

6 months is a long time to be expecting family and friends to provide lifts.

With the service, I didn’t have to worry about how to get to treatment, so it took a lot of pressure off me. The drivers understood the scenario. If you wanted to talk they let you, if you didn’t they understood.

Contact the Irish Cancer Society Support Line

Our Support Line is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm offering support and advice
for anyone affected by cancer on Freephone 1800 200 700.

Roz, a cancer nurse