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"I was a pain to be around, but you looked after me"

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16 Apr 2019

Kat met with her Clinical Nurse Specialist Darren to talk about the huge difference he made during the toughest time in her life.

Kat: "You were my favourite Aussie nurse, Darren..."

"...you and the other staff who looked after me during my treatment really did become my second family.

I was in my early 30s and a pain in the arse. Being in hospital was extremely frustrating. I felt trapped, lonely and isolated - and often angry. But the nurses kept me going; popping in to say hello and to ask how I was.

I remember a transplant nurse sitting with me while I had a scary reaction. It sounds like a small thing, but for me it was huge. I couldn’t have got through that time without her.”

Darren: "You weren't such a terrible patient..."

“...blood cancer has a huge impact on people’s lives. It’s not only the treatment, which often cures the disease, it’s all aspects of life; work, finance, body image and relationships are affected.

Some patients may lose friends, they want to go home, they want to be the people they were before.

It’s a lot more complicated than simply being treated for a disease.”

Kat: "That's so true..."

“...as patients we need nurses who understand our experiences and who use knowledge – beyond that which comes from a text book – to give advice and reassurance.

I knew you had seen lots of patients like me and when you said it would be okay, then I knew it would be.

Whereas if your family say that, you think they're just saying it.”

Darren: "A large part of the job is listening and talking to patients..."

“...because, like you Kat, they vent their fears, anger and emotions.

I hear things no-one else will hear because of the worry it would cause. It’s an aspect of cancer care that is as important as clinical care.”

Kat: "Well, you've been a lifeline to me."

"Darren, you were fantastic, you stopped me going insane. The drugs saved my physically but you and the other nurses saved me mentally. You were and still are my second family.”

If you or anyone you know needs to talk about blood cancer, you can call us on 0808 2080 888 or visit our information and support pages.

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