Supporting each other on World Cancer Day

Happy Magazine Contributor Cathy McCarthy attended a Cancer Support Information Evening during the week at Meaghers Pharmacy in Churchtown, Dublin. She wrote this event report for us.

You may or may not have known that last Tuesday, 4 February was World Cancer Day. Meaghers Pharmacy in Churchtown held an information event to mark the day.

The head Pharmacist and Manager of the Churchtown branch, Lisa, has just come through her own cancer journey. Four years ago at the age of 27 she was diagnosed with Lymphoma.

I will go back a few steps to fill you in on how the night commenced. The shop has a very open inviting space and there were rows of chairs all set out. It was a lovely surprise to see copies of Holly’s Happy Magazine on every chair. Everyone was thrilled to get it. There were around 25 people in attendance.

Oonagh O’Hagan, the owner of the Meagher group of pharmacies chaired the session. Lisa spoke as a cancer survivor and Dr Pranshul Chauhan, an Oncology Registrar in St Vincent’s Hospital, spoke as a medical professional. The information was delivered in a very informal but practical way.

Oonagh asked Lisa various questions on her diagnosis, treatment, mental attitude and her day to day life living with a cancer diagnosis. Lisa spoke honestly about her journey, her ups and downs and how she now has a different attitude to life.

Pranshul gave a very practical and understandable account of his work as an Oncology Registrar. He was very reassuring and spoke in a language that any lay person could understand.

I met two lovely sisters who had come to the information night as their sister had been diagnosed with cancer. They felt they had very inadequate information and they were very keen to learn as much as they could to be in a position to help their sister. They found the evening very informative.

I also met a very interesting girl called Eimear Tully. You may be aware that there is a lot of talk today around chemicals in beauty products. People are becoming more aware of what they are putting on their skin. Eimear has developed a deodorant that is free of all nasty chemicals. Her product is called Indeora and it is available in many pharmacies around Ireland and also online. It is well worth looking into her story and you can then decide for yourself. I myself purchased one of her products and I am very much looking forward to using it.

What was the outcome?

Firstly it is scary to get a cancer diagnosis but having as early a diagnosis as possible gives you a more positive outcome.

Secondly it is very reassuring to know that no one doctor decides your treatment plan. A multi-disciplinary team discuss each case and all of the experts decide the best course of action for you as an individual.

When you are going through your treatment it is important to keep your team informed of any side effects as they are usually in a position to assist in any way they can to alleviate them.

Finally, talking about your illness helps. You can decide if that is with a friend, getting professional help or any other way that works for you.

Also if you can keep up some form of exercise it is very beneficial both mentally and physically.

There were refreshments and we also came home with a nice bag of goodies. I think everyone came away better informed.

Thank you so much to Cathy for writing and sharing this event report with us. Cathy is an inspiring breast cancer survivor herself and the author of two excellent books relevant to a cancer journey, find out more about them in this post. You can also read more about Cathy’s own story in this post.

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