Cancer care - a nurse's perspective

Sophie Gorman is a Chemotherapy Staff Nurse at Kettering General Hospital. This month we’re celebrating the role of nurses in childhood cancer care around the world. As well as providing care to cancer patients in the UK, Sophie is a volunteer and supporter of World Child Cancer. We caught up with Sophie to find out more about the life of a nurse.  

“When I was growing up I helped my mum care for my nan, who had suffered a severe stroke, was disabled and blind. Despite the obvious challenges of supporting someone in need of so much care, I loved looking after my nan and she knew I did to. It was my nan who told me to become a nurse and I soon realised I loved being able to help someone and make their day a bit better. The feeling of being able to do something for someone else is what inspired me to become a nurse.”  

“As much as I love my role, there are so many challenges to overcome each day, one of which being the arrival of patients with advanced cancers. Many patients arrive with late stages of cancer at which point it becomes difficult to cure, the earlier we can administer chemotherapy the better the chances of survival”.  

“Receiving an early diagnosis is vital as nearly all cancers can be cured if detected early enough and require simpler treatments and procedures. The later the cancer is detected, the harder it becomes to cure with more complicated treatments required, increasing the chances of detrimental side effects.”  

Sophie’s experiences of late arrivals to hospital are highlighted in our country programmes. Many children arrive with curable forms of cancer but reach hospitals far too late, and as a result their chances of survival are significantly reduced. With support from you, we are changing this by subsidising treatment costs, raising awareness of childhood cancer and training healthcare professionals.  

Despite the difficulties, Sophie enjoys her role as a nurse with this story being one of her standout memories;  

“I consider myself to be lucky as I get to meet some amazing people who inspire me every day in my role. Being diagnosed with cancer can become one of the biggest obstacles you will ever face in your life, but these people find the courage and the strength to overcome their cancer. One story about a young girl named Laura really stands out to me.  

Laura was a young girl and throughout her treatment went through a physical and emotional roller-coaster with so many highs and lows, including suffering from nausea. Incredibly, not only did Laura survive her cancer she has now grown up to become a mother of twins, a very unlikely story as cancer treatment significantly lowers your fertility. Stories like Laura’s make it all worthwhile and seeing her with her babies is so inspirational for me.”  

Stories like Laura’s are why we do what we do. Childhood cancer, if detected early enough, can be cured and the role of nurses like Sophie is vital. Join Sophie in supporting children with cancer  by donating to give the gift of growing.