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A conversation with Tom, Family Connect volunteer

Tuesday 17 October, 2017


“If there is one piece of advice I could offer carers, it would be that you must have a huge amount of patience.

  • Patience with the patient under your care
  • Patience with the process they are going through
  • Patience with the medical staff - they are truly magnificent
  • Patience with family and friends who will continually tell you everything will be okay – with the best intentions”.

How did Tom become a Family Connect volunteer?

My wife was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer in August 2014, with not a good outlook. Our main goal was to overcome the cancer and made it our fulltime purpose, everything else was secondary. I accompanied her to all medical, chemo and radiation appointments, providing total support and sharing her experience of treatment.

We ended with a positive result and I thought that my experiences could help others – this is why volunteering for Family Connect appealed to me.

People like to talk and discuss a complete range of topics, especially the type of treatments my wife received, along with the side effects of her treatment and their delight hearing her positive result.

The best thing about volunteering is to hear the absolute joy in someone's voice when they have learnt the person I cared for has beaten cancer - it gives abundant hope and motivation to keep going.

I would advise all prospective volunteers to ask themselves if they are ready to re-live what they went through time and time again as this can bring up bad memories. In my case, bad experiences only enhance better ones.

To find out how you can volunteer in our Connect programs, email us on Cancer.Connect@cancervic.org.au or call 13 11 20 for cancer information and support.

 

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Updated: 17 Oct, 2017