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Senior Palliative Care nurse, Pat, shares her cancer journey

Thursday, 03 February, 2022
Senior Palliative Care nurse, Pat, shares her cancer journey

Senior Palliative Care nurse, Pat Robson shares her cancer journey after losing her Dad to cancer in 2011 to help improve support for colleagues at work living with cancer on World Cancer Day.

“I am one of the Senior Palliative Care Nurses with the Hospital Liaison Team based at Wansbeck General Hospital and Northumbria Hospital.

I have been in this role from 2014, previously a community staff nurse and before that a health care assistant with the out of hours district nursing team.

I love my job and I am passionate about Palliative Care although this was not something that came easily to me.

I lost my Dad to cancer in 2011 after a short period of illness and I struggled to accept this.  I remember at that time feeling helpless and guilty that I knew what lay ahead yet trying to remain positive for my Dad and my family.  Being a health professional and having some knowledge is not always an advantage although I acknowledge it can be.

Going back to work following this incredibly difficult period was terrifying.  I had decided that I could no longer be the nurse I wanted to be and look after anyone who had a palliative diagnosis.   I did however have the support from great colleagues who understood and supported me through this stage.  I surprised myself that my experience could actually help me be a better nurse and gave me more confidence to be involved with palliative patients.

Over the years I have supported many patients, families and staff members who are experiencing the journey of cancer and how that affects them. I became co-chair of the cancer support staff network to offer support, advice, share stories and feelings and just to listen.  The word Cancer itself is terrifying alone but to live with or work with must be even more so.   My personal experience turned a negative into a positive and this group aims to support anyone to live with or beyond cancer and is a positive step forward for our Trust and its members.”

Find out more about our living with and beyond cancer services for patients here