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Thursday 8 December 2016

Week 12: ARC: a 'safe' place filled with empathy

Sabrina Carey on how to sign up for the Elverys Sports Get Fit group

Clara Scully
Clara Scully

"This June, I will be taking part in the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon for the third time, and I will be raising sponsorship for ARC Cancer Support Centre.

In September 2013, I attended my GP with stomach pains and eight weeks later, I was diagnosed with cancer of the peritoneum (a form of stomach cancer).

I have undergone chemotherapy and surgery. During the time of my diagnosis, chemotherapy, surgery and various hospital stays, I have had tremendous support, in all ways, from family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours, and the medical staff in the Mater Hospital.

low point

After a week in hospital in October 2014, I hit a particularly low point. I was made aware of the ARC Cancer Support Centre from the nurses in day oncology, and up to that point, I had not availed of any of their services. Also, I was not really aware of what they did!

I walked over to the centre on Eccles Street one afternoon after chemotherapy not knowing what to expect.

I need not have worried. I was brought into a beautiful living room and met one of the volunteers.

I sat down, had a cup of tea and we chatted about my previous year, but we also chatted about lots of other things, not just cancer.

I looked over the list of services and noticed the next day there was a relaxation class. The class was wonderful, an hour of soothing music and meditation. I slept very well that night.

I have met men and women of all ages, who are at various stages of treatment or many years recovered.

Some people may attend ARC at the very early stages of diagnosis or only when they feel ready or need to talk to someone.

The volunteers, both men and women, are always ready to listen. The classes and various therapies are free and solely dependent on donations.

ARC for me is a 'safe' place. It is a place where people understand what you're going through.

isolating

Your family and friends empathise with you, however, unless you have experienced the sickness, the tiredness, or the other various side effects, it can be very isolating.

The people you meet in ARC have had similar experiences. You talk about it for a few minutes and then you move on to talk about what was on TV last night.

ARC welcomes people from all over Ireland to use their services for free, not just those who are Dublin-based. It is a relaxed and calm environment and is also a great resource for family members and friends too.

I am continuing to use ARC and I am looking forward to participating in the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon.

The money raised will help to fund the huge variety of holistic therapies, classes and workshops at ARC, including a new CLIMB programme for children (aged 5-11 years) who are affected by cancer."

For more information on ARC Cancer Support centres, go to www.arccancersupport.ie.

"This June, I will be taking part in the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon for the third time, and I will be raising sponsorship for ARC Cancer Support Centre.

In September 2013, I attended my GP with stomach pains and eight weeks later, I was diagnosed with cancer of the peritoneum (a form of stomach cancer).

I have undergone chemotherapy and surgery. During the time of my diagnosis, chemotherapy, surgery and various hospital stays, I have had tremendous support, in all ways, from family, friends, work colleagues and neighbours, and the medical staff in the Mater Hospital.

low point

After a week in hospital in October 2014, I hit a particularly low point. I was made aware of the ARC Cancer Support Centre from the nurses in day oncology, and up to that point, I had not availed of any of their services. Also, I was not really aware of what they did!

I walked over to the centre on Eccles Street one afternoon after chemotherapy not knowing what to expect.

I need not have worried. I was brought into a beautiful living room and met one of the volunteers.

I sat down, had a cup of tea and we chatted about my previous year, but we also chatted about lots of other things, not just cancer.

I looked over the list of services and noticed the next day there was a relaxation class. The class was wonderful, an hour of soothing music and meditation. I slept very well that night.

I have met men and women of all ages, who are at various stages of treatment or many years recovered.

Some people may attend ARC at the very early stages of diagnosis or only when they feel ready or need to talk to someone.

The volunteers, both men and women, are always ready to listen. The classes and various therapies are free and solely dependent on donations.

ARC for me is a 'safe' place. It is a place where people understand what you're going through.

isolating

Your family and friends empathise with you, however, unless you have experienced the sickness, the tiredness, or the other various side effects, it can be very isolating.

The people you meet in ARC have had similar experiences. You talk about it for a few minutes and then you move on to talk about what was on TV last night.

ARC welcomes people from all over Ireland to use their services for free, not just those who are Dublin-based. It is a relaxed and calm environment and is also a great resource for family members and friends too.

I am continuing to use ARC and I am looking forward to participating in the Vhi Women's Mini Marathon.

The money raised will help to fund the huge variety of holistic therapies, classes and workshops at ARC, including a new CLIMB programme for children (aged 5-11 years) who are affected by cancer."

For more information on ARC Cancer Support centres, go to www.arccancersupport.ie.

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