Helen Langan, Christie patient

Receiving a diagnosis of advanced metastatic breast cancer was a huge shock to Helen. Having worked as a clinical research nurse for 14 years at The Christie, she more than most knew what to expect from her cancer treatment.

When Helen started her treatment, she was still working at The Christie. She was able to coordinate her appointments during working hours, meaning less travel for her treatment. Helen says this really helped her cope with her cancer diagnosis, as she felt she had control over her treatment.

But when Helen changed jobs and started working in Wirral, she felt the enormous strain of travelling. It was an 88-mile round trip from her new job to The Christie in Withington, and 46 miles from her home in Cheshire.

Now, Helen has retired and can use her local blood testing service at St. Luke’s Hospice – this is only 8 miles from her home. This takes away so much anxiety and means she can spend more time doing the things that she wants to. That includes volunteering at the local food bank, catching up with friends, exercising and taking care of her 86-year-old mum in Wigan.

As Helen needs blood tests every month, she admits that the small change to her routine makes a big difference to how she lives her life.

“That 88 miles impacted on my working day. The tiredness. The fatigue. It impacted on my daily life.”
“Lots of days are disrupted due to the complexities of treatment. I’m living with metastatic cancer for the rest of my life, and having the bloods taken locally helps to reduce that disruption.”
“When you’re dealing with cancer and the complex treatments that come with it, the personal, local service makes a huge difference to the quality of your life.”

  - Helen, Christie patient

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