“I saw my sister go through chemotherapy, and the prospect scared me,” she explains. “Having supported my sister and being a carer to my two elderly parents, I have always been able to advocate for my own care. But when I got the call about my blood tests and my scan, I lost all my confidence. ‘This is it,’ I thought. ‘I’m going to die.’ “Fortunately, Bob was there for me.”
Bob Perry is WMUK’s Patient Support Manager. A WM patient himself, Bob is there for anyone affected by the disease – patient, family member or friend. Anyone can call or email him to get a listening and supportive ear.
“By the time I emailed Bob, I was panicking,” Vicky says. “I was imagining all the horrible things that the scan might have shown, and how I was going to tell my two children – 19 and 21 – that I was going to die. I really wasn’t at all my usual level-headed self.
“Bob emailed me back right away, and asked whether I’d like to speak directly to him. He called me as soon as I shared my phone number and we talked for 45 minutes.”
Vicky isn’t alone in this. Callers to the charity sometimes spend as much as an hour talking things through with Bob, trying to get clarity about their situation and finding peace of mind in talking with someone who truly understands what they’ve been through.
“He grounded me, and it was like this dark cloud that was hanging over me just floated away. We talked through my fears about going on treatment, and Bob was able to share his own experience of chemotherapy – so different to my sister’s – which was really reassuring. We also talked about the best case scenario, which I hadn’t even considered.
“After speaking with Bob, I actually slept that night and instead of going into my appointment anxious and scattered, I was rational and confident.”
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