1st Edition

From Oncology Nursing to Coping with Breast Cancer My Journey There and Back

By Kate Hayward, Anthony Rudd Copyright 2008

    Many healthcare professionals that I've encountered refer to a patient's cancer journey; indeed I had an article published describing a patient's journey through biological therapy. This particular case history described my involvement with a medical doctor's experience of renal cell carcinoma and self-administration of immunotherapy. He was very keen to share his experience to educate and inform other health professionals and I now find myself in a similar situation.'I have 'journeyed' from nurse to patient when diagnosed with grade 3-breast cancer. Of course, I've experienced various health problems before this time, but I never spent a night in hospital, unlike members of my family who have experienced serious illness and hospitalisation on several occasions. Consequently I've always regarded myself in the caring role amongst family members and over the years I've used my nursing knowledge and skills to help them deal with both the physical and psychological issues of their various disease processes. However, being diagnosed with breast cancer has now changed me from nurse and carer into a vulnerable ill person with doubts and fears for my future. To restore some sense of purpose while on sick leave and help me to get through each treatment stage, I decided to keep a daily journal of my experience.

    Kate’s story


    Katie Haywood Clinical Nurse Specialist Biological Therapy, St James's Institute of Oncology, Leeds, Anthony Rudd.