My name is Michelle and I volunteer at Wessex Cancer Trust’s Isle of Wight Support Centre.

I am a qualified psychotherapeutic counsellor and wanted to help the charity after losing my husband to cancer in 2019.

My client

My client is a lady in her 50s who lives on her own. She has no dependants and relies on her mother, brother and friends for support as she is vulnerable and isolated. She has a number of medical problems and is bipolar. I will refer to her as Miss M for confidentiality reasons.

Miss M has recently been diagnosed with ovarian and uterus cancer. The hospital referred her to us as she needed emotional support to help manage her cancer diagnosis. She particularly wanted to be supported by people she could trust to share her feelings and thoughts in a professional and non-judgemental way.

Miss M does not use the internet at all and relies on her mobile and home phone for contact and support. She does not have a television and likes to listen to music on the radio and keep herself busy with craft activities. She likes to walk, but has some mobility issues.

How I help

I speak to Miss M once a week on the phone and she tells me what’s been happening with her cancer treatment. She’s already had an operation and will need radiology at Southampton Hospital.

Miss M really appreciates my calls. She is so isolated, and she says they help a great deal. I am a qualified theatre practitioner so I do have an understanding of what she might be going through, but I never disclose my profession. I give her information about all the extra support we can provide which is sent to me by Mike at the Isle of Wight Support Centre. I’ve also told her about the Daisy Bus which can help her get to her hospital appointments.

Being able to provide this support makes so much difference to her feelings of anxiety and isolation, especially through the Covid-19 pandemic.