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Nurses' Day

Taylor's thank you

Taylor Jewkes

"I was just beginning to establish my own caseload as a student health visitor when I was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer. I’m only 35 and never expected the lump I found to be so serious."

""Since that day, Ann Parkin, my specialist breast cancer nurse, has been amazing. She sat with me when I received my diagnosis, and she promised that she would be there for me throughout my treatment. 

"This was particularly important when I was told that chemotherapy had caused significant damage to my heart – it was no longer pumping blood efficiently to the rest of my body.

"When I had to stop chemotherapy because of the damage it was causing my liver, Ann was on hand to cut through the medical speak, reassure and explain. I can call or email her at any time of the day and speak as a person, not as a cancer patient.

"Before cancer arrived, I was juggling hours of studying with life as a mum to a son with special educational needs. I don’t know what I would have done without the support of the nurses on my course and on placement too. After I had my mastectomy they sent me a card, flowers and some vouchers. I cried when I received them as I had only known these people for a few months.

"When my manager drove to my house to collect my ID badge and laptop, she explained that funding for my placement had been ringfenced and that I could return to work whenever I felt ready. I’m now back at work and study part-time too. I love my role as a student health visitor, it’s a privilege to support families through the most difficult times.

"I still have limitations with my mobility and experience fatigue due to the damaged caused by treatment, but I have now have no evidence of disease.

 "When I reflect on this chapter of my life, it is humbling to think of the care I have received from Ann and all of the nursing staff I have come into contact with: from the chemotherapy unit to the oncology ward and community nurses too. My course leader who is also a practicing health visitor has been incredibly supportive during a difficult transition to my 'new normal'."

Taylor Jewkes, March 2016