Li, Christie patient

Starting treatment for cancer at any time can be a worrying experience. But for Christie patient Li, it was especially difficult starting treatment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Travelling into The Christie, Li was supported by her son-in-law James due to her dementia. Both Li and James found the situation difficult at first, but a referral to the complementary health and wellbeing service at The Christie changed their experience entirely.

James said that the support from the complementary health and wellbeing service came at just the right time for him and Li. Already struggling with changes in his routine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, James was feeling the stress of supporting Li with her treatment.

Li was also under pressure from the additional stress of her cancer treatment. This was having a negative effect on the symptoms of her dementia.

The referral to the complementary health and wellbeing service made a big difference to Li. After just a week of complementary therapy, James said Li became a lot more accepting of her cancer treatment. He also said she became more optimistic and stopped worrying as much about minor details.

The complementary therapy also helped with Li’s memory. It made it easier for her to complete daily tasks and learn new routines, such as taking medication.

James said Li’s treatment at The Christie was exceptional. He praised everyone from the parking team to the radiotherapy team. Despite the challenges of treating during the COVID-19 pandemic, James said The Christie delivered amazing care, with only a minimal level of disruption to service.  

“The extra care we received from complementary health and wellbeing made the biggest difference to our experience. This service was brought to our attention by one of the radiotherapists – this is just another example of how well The Christie's staff pay extra attention to their patients' needs.
“The additional support we received from the health and wellbeing team provided the mental wellbeing that we both needed to see us through this difficult time. Looking back, I really don't know how we would have got through it without them – I was very close to giving up.
“I'm pleased that mental health is being taken more seriously, and I fully appreciate that providing mental care as a complimentary service is a benefit to both patients and staff. In our case, my mother-in-law was much easier to work with and received better care because her stress levels were reduced, and the effects of dementia were more manageable for everyone.”

- James, Li’s son-in-law