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Remote counselling service user Anne – ‘He was a wonderful person who came into my life at the right time’

It was during the first lockdown that I was told over the phone that I had cancer.

I got the news four days before my 60th birthday on 8 June, and on 12 June I was told the cancer they picked up had spread, and I was to start chemotherapy the following Monday.

What’s more I started to become very unwell on my treatment: I had still only been diagnosed very recently at this point, I didn’t know what the future held for me and the phone calls were coming at me thick and fast. It was a very scary time.

When you receive a cancer diagnosis it opens up a whole new world that many of us never, ever think about. I had just taken on a new role in my life caring for three small children and I just thought to myself ‘how unfair is this’; it was the last thing that I had ever factored in that I would get sick myself.

I’m fortunate to have great friends who are tremendously supportive, but I’ve never been good with sympathy and in circumstances like that people can naturally feel under pressure to always say the right thing, and sometimes you just want to ask others to stop telling you to be more positive or that things could be worse. It got to a stage where I just wanted to speak to a trained person.

Around that time I began talking to my counsellor Denis who I was put in touch with through the Irish Cancer Society.

I was still feeling very sick so I stepped back from the appointments for a while, but when I was starting to feel much better I got back in touch and he was just brilliant.

We didn’t always speak about cancer, but he was there - I could vent, I could offload. We’d also have a laugh and he’d cheer me up. I used to look forward to his calls because he was such a positive influence in my life, and yet he understood so completely what I was going through.

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I always maintained it’s the children that have saved me because they keep me busy and I don’t have as much time to dwell on things, but he was a wonderful person who came into my life at the right time, and he was the right person for me.


I’ve experienced so many fantastic people and services over the last year, including the remote counselling service. It’s a scary, lonely journey especially given all that’s happening in the world recently, but to know that you have these services beside you and to call upon if you need them is amazing.

Remote counselling service

Cancer patients and their loved ones can get free one-to-one counselling through the Irish Cancer Society. Please get in touch if you would like information. Freephone 1800 200 700 or email

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1800 200 700

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