“I hadn’t been feeling right for a while, but I just thought it was a bit of acid reflux. In May 2020 I went for a scan. A week later, the results came back. I was told I had Stage 4 lung cancer. It came as a complete bolt out of the blue.
“Nothing prepares you for hearing that. I was just so shocked to start with but also quite calm, because it is what it is – you have to deal with it.”
Soon after, 64-year-old retired care worker Beverley, from Herne Bay, started a course of chemotherapy, followed by daily radiotherapy at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, an experience she describes as “quite intense”. After finishing the treatment in 2021, the hospital mentioned Imfinzi, a new immunotherapy drug for her to trial, which is when she found out about Hope for Tomorrow’s mobile cancer care unit located at the nearby Queen Victoria Memorial Hospital.
She explains: “It was just 10 minutes down the road from me and was so much more convenient. The hospital on the other hand was a 20-mile drive away; when you’re having chemo treatment which lasts 8 hours each time, this makes the day that much longer.
“The treatment left me with vertigo, so I was unable to drive myself when I was being treated at the hospital. I had to rely on my husband to transport me. Being treated on the mobile unit also drastically cut down the waiting time. Visiting the unit made me less anxious, especially during COVID when I was shielding, as there weren’t so many people.
“It was completely different and a lot quieter than a hospital environment, so I felt more relaxed. It was definitely a lot less stressful. During this time, my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer and my mother, who has dementia, was placed in a care home, so as a family we had a lot to contend with.
“I couldn’t sing Hope for Tomorrow’s praises enough; being given easier access to my own medical treatment meant I had more precious time to spend with my family who also needed support. I would love to see more units available so that others can experience the benefits of receiving lifesaving treatment this way. I can’t thank the nurses enough.”