Emi­lyHouri­hane amongs­peak­ers at­cancerevent

Drogheda Independent - - NEWS - By FIONA MA­GEN­NIS

A large crowd was in at­ten­dance for the re­cent Liv­ing With Cancer Con­fer­ence which took place in Our Lady of Lour­des Hospi­tal re­cently.

The Con­fer­ence was of­fi­cially opened by Pro­fes­sor Bryan Hen­nessy, Con­sul­tant Med­i­cal On­col­o­gist.

He wel­comed the au­di­ence and said he hoped that ev­ery­one would gain valu­able knowl­edge and hope for the fu­ture. To the amaze­ment of many peo­ple in the room he in­formed the au­di­ence that in the near fu­ture there will be a breath test that can de­tect lung cancer and with this de­vel­op­ment com­ing about through the work and di­rect sup­port of Necret.

The first speaker on the day was Emily Houri­can, Sun­day In­de­pen­dent Jour­nal­ist and Au­thor who has doc­u­mented her di­ag­no­sis and sub­se­quent treat­ment of mouth cancer through her col­umn in the Sun­day In­de­pen­dent.

She de­scribed her treat­ment which was very tough, but she got through it.

She re­vealed that at the time her chil­dren were 5, 8 and 12 and said the 12-year-old was par­tic­u­larly up­set as his friends’ mum had died pre­vi­ously from breast cancer. She re­ceived let­ters, emails from or­di­nary peo­ple who had been through sim­i­lar cancer and that kept her go­ing know­ing that oth­ers had sur­vived.

The au­thor now has the all clear but re­vealed that in the first year af­ter her treat­ment she be­came a com­plete hypochon­driac. Her one tip to any­one re­cently di­ag­nosed is not to Google.

Next up was a panel com­pris­ing Dr David Fen­nelly, On­col­o­gist from St Vin­cent’s Hospi­tal, Dublin along with Pro­fes­sor Bryan Hen­nessy and El­iz­a­beth Sum­mersby, Clin­i­cal Nurse Man­ager in Our Lady of Lour­des Hospi­tal. There were ques­tions from the au­di­ence on the top­ics of ge­net­ics, fam­ily his­tory and cancer test­ing for rare can­cers, cur­rent treat­ment op­tions and cancer genes. The panel were asked about treat­ments com­ing down the tracks that ex­cited them.

Dr Fen­nelly talked about the pos­i­tive and dra­matic changes that have oc­curred in the treat­ment of melanoma. When he be­gan 30 years ago there were no treat­ments for melanoma and now that sit­u­a­tion has greatly im­proved.

Nurse El­iz­a­beth Sum­mersby men­tioned the im­por­tance of treat­ing the whole per­son with a cancer di­ag­no­sis. Psy­cho­log­i­cal help is vi­tal in keep­ing the per­son up­beat and pos­i­tive.

Dave Ka­vanagh talked the fi­nan­cial side of hav­ing a cancer di­ag­no­sis. It is im­por­tant that peo­ple get ad­vice if they are hav­ing fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties. It is dif­fi­cult enough to go through treat­ment with­out the added bur­den of fi­nan­cial dif­fi­cul­ties.

Louise Carolan talked about Laugher and Yoga ther­apy. The ben­e­fits of laugh­ter in­clude, a bet­ter im­mune sys­tem, lower blood pres­sure, de­creased de­pres­sion and pain man­age­ment. Louise con­ducted a laugh­ter ex­er­cise with the au­di­ence.

Karen Healy con­ducted a ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion with Mary O’Rourke. Mary talked about Brian Leni­han, her nephew. He was di­ag­nosed with pan­cre­atic cancer and from the out­set his di­ag­no­sis was poor.

Tommy Gor­man spoke about his rare con­di­tion Neuro En­docrine Tu­mours (NET). He lives with cancer and goes for treat­ments on a con­tin­u­ous ba­sis.

The jour­nal­ist said he views his cancer as a gift as it brings a kind of lib­er­a­tion. We are all just pass­ing through this life. The fi­nal speaker was Emer Lush, a yoga and med­i­ta­tion teacher. She be­lieves we all have some­thing to be grate­ful for at the end of each day. She did a med­i­ta­tion prac­tice with the au­di­ence.

Fi­nally the clos­ing re­marks were de­liv­ered by El­iz­a­beth Sum­mersby, Clin­i­cal Nurse Man­ager, On­col­ogy Unit, Our Lady of Lour­des Hospi­tal Drogheda who thanked ev­ery­one for at­tend­ing the Con­fer­ence. Rep­re­sen­ta­tives at the event in­cluded Cara Cancer Sup­port, The Gary Kelly Cen­tre, Arc Cancer and other sec­tors di­rectly con­nected with cancer.

Aileen Emery and Eileen McEn­teggart from The Gary Kelly Cancer Sup­port Cen­tre at the Liv­ing With Cancer con­fer­ence in City North ho­tel.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.