IN the lead-up to Daffodil Day on August 24, journalist Nadine Morton is looking at the subject of cancer in our city – from the support services available for patients to the volunteers who offer love and compassion to those fighting the disease. This is the fourth part in a six-week series.
THE hardest part might be walking through the door but once inside, acting nursing unit manager Belinda Maynell says there is a world of support.
Daffodil Cottage has been in operation since 1997 as a place of support and treatment from a wide range of specialists for people undergoing treatment for cancer.
The facility allows people to receive counselling, chemotherapy, supportive care and palliative care.
Daffodil Cottage is staffed by specialists in a wide range of areas, while a dedicated group of volunteers offer patients and carers refreshments, company and conversation.
Ms Maynell has worked at the cottage for a number of years and has seen services expand to meet the community’s needs.
“Daffodil Cottage is a 10-chair unit where our patients come to receive chemotherapy,” she said.
“We also have a palliative care service where patients are seen over in the hospital and have palliative care services at home.
“We have a McGrath [Foundation] breast care nurse, a cancer care co-ordinator, we have a social worker, lymphedema specialist, we have an OT [occupational therapist] and we have a dietitian.
“We have five oncology nurses who administer chemotherapy and we have a wig library that helps patients who have lost their hair because of chemotherapy treatment.
“We also have community transport and a bus to go to radiotherapy in Orange.”
Ms Maynell said the cottage’s existence means that patients can receive all the treatments they require in a local setting.
“It’s a lovely environment. It’s the best place to work and our patients are really appreciative of what we do and it makes our job worthwhile just to make that hard time a little bit easier for them,” she said.
There’s a wide range of emotions, there’s a lot of sadness but there’s also a lot of joy.Daffodil Cottage acting nursing unit manager Belinda Maynell
Ms Maynell said patients and carers can experience a range of emotions during the cancer journey.
“There’s a wide range of emotions. There’s a lot of sadness but there’s also a lot of joy. There’s a lot of joy when we see patients complete their treatment and when they’re feeling well,” she said.
“Just stepping through that door’s probably the hardest part, [but] once you’re in here you realise that the staff will go above and beyond for you in trying to make that really difficult time for you as easy as possible.”
Daffodil Cottage is located at 365 Howick Street and is open from 8.30am until 5pm weekdays.
For more information, call the cottage on 6330 5347.
Daffodil Day series
- Week #1 – Daffodil Cottage Wig Library’s here to help
- Week #1 – Daffodil Cottage Wig Library: A patient’s experience
- Week #2 – Radiation Bus is a lot more than just transport
- Week #2 – Volunteer driver’s helping hand for patients in need
- Week #3 – Breast care nurse leads support for patients
- Week #3 – Men, it’s time to take responsibility for your health: Prostate cancer group