This Thursday I will have my annual coffee morning in aid of The South Westmeath Hospice. For anyone who has had a loved one cared for in a hospice there is no need for me to explain the amazing work that takes place here. I have had some dealings with the hospice in the past and the care that is given, at such a devastating time in a families life, is exceptional. Recently a new hospice has opened in Athlone which provides a wonderful service for the people of the Midlands.
I expect that most of you may have been affected by Cancer in some way throughout your life. It's unbelievable that one word can have the ability to instil such immense fear, when it is suggested as a possible diagnosis for you or a loved one. As I've mentioned here before my Mam passed away 4 years ago from Multiple Myeloma. She was such an amazing lady, that meant the world to me. At the time there wasn't a hospice locally and even though Mam spent her final weeks in a hospital my sister Fiona and I fully cared for her day and night. We are both nurses and this was a great honour to get the opportunity to use our nursing skills for someone who is so important to both of us.
I had my coffee morning at my home last September and little did I realise that within 6 months my Aunt Judy, who called up to the coffee morning, would be diagnosed with Cancer and since has sadly passed away. She was lovingly cared for by her daughter Emer and son Eugene at home but there was a constant support from the palliative team which worked so closely with the family, always with Judy's best interests in mind.
Little did I think this time last year that Cancer would come even closer to home, within the 6 months my sister Dervilla would be diagnosed with Breast Cancer. Her diagnosis was a severe shock to us all but thankfully Dervie is doing brilliantly well as Breast Cancer is the type of Cancer that more commonly has a very positive outcome. She only finished her chemotherapy a few weeks ago and is due to start her radiotherapy treatment in the next week and at the moment she is enjoying a week in Italy with her husband and children. She's a fabulous sister and we're so close. She got married a year after me, we built our family homes across the road from each other and our kids are all in or around the same age. The last 6 months have naturally been very difficult for her but she has shown strength and courage beyond belief. Her positivity is inspiring and she makes me ever grateful for my illness-free life.
So if you are around Mount Temple this Thursday between 9.30 and 11.30 I would love if you would call into the hall and have a cuppa and some delicious goodies with me. It's for a great cause and I'd really appreciate the support.