Bernadette's Story

I feel like a totally different person. They do a fantastic job

Bernadette is a 63 year old retired former dog breeder, originally from Ireland but now living on her own in Hackney. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and has had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. She also had low blood pressure, arthritis and polycythaemia. She was referred into the service following outreach at the Cancer Transitions programme at Barts.Val

Before her diagnosis, Bernadette was caring for her adult daughter but was unable to fulfil this role in the same way during her treatment. She was keen to increase her levels of physical activity and to join an IT course. She also wanted to speak about her experiences since diagnosis as she felt unable to share some of her concerns with her family. She was also finding it very difficult to navigate the healthcare system for her additional support needs and this anxiety was further isolating her as she was reluctant to leave the house.

Over a serious of three 1:1 sessions we spent time getting in touch with her health team to ensure her medical supplies could be delivered to her at home. Bernadette was referred to the St Joseph’s HOPE course and monthly women’s group which she attended. She reported enjoying the peer support and regularity of contact which built her confidence to pursue her personal health goals. She was also referred to the Hackney Wellbeing Network to access Pilates sessions and an IT course through City & Hackney MIND. She told us, “I feel like a totally different person. They do a fantastic job”.

*Name has been changed