Ten minutes with a Cancer Council nurse

Cancer Council nurseWhen Robyn was 11 her mother passed away from bowel cancer. It was this experience that sparked a passion to help those who were living with cancer's impact.

"When an opportunity to do nurse training came up, I took it and loved it. After 13 years of nursing, I worked in a rural community-based district nursing and palliative care service. From there, I decided to specialise in palliative care."

Palliative care is designed to help improve the quality of life of a person facing a life-limiting illness. The life of a palliative care nurse is often an emotional ride - but for Robyn, it's a job that was incredibly rewarding.

"I loved supporting those who faced the enormous challenges of living with a cancer diagnosis that can't be cured," she shares. "It's really rewarding to help people manage their emotional and physical distress."

In 2010, Robyn brought her experience to Cancer Council Victoria. She now works on our Cancer Council 13 11 20 Information and Support line, where she listens to the many Victorians who call, looking for information, or for emotional and practical support.

"People often experience fear, anxiety and grief when encountering cancer. It's about helping these people in all areas - psychologically, financially, emotionally, and spiritually. It's about drawing on that person's strength, and helping them understand that with our help, they can get through this.

"The other day I spoke to a lady who was anxious and felt as though she was about to have a panic attack. She just talked. I didn't offer any solutions; I just listened. After that, she said she felt so much better - that it was so good to have someone to talk to."

A simple phone call can go a long way. "There's a huge need for support for people affected by cancer - and Cancer Council fills this need. We're very lucky to have donors who support services like Cancer Council 13 11 20. It's so important that people know about us, and that we're here to help."

 

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Updated: 05 Apr, 2017