The journey from Rachel Stokes’ home in Great Waldingfield in West Suffolk to the nearest hospital in Bury St Edmonds would be 15 miles – a 30-mile round trip. But thanks to Hope for Tomorrow’s Mobile Cancer Care Unit (MCCU), which visits nearby Sudbury Community Health Centre every week, Rachel is able to have her treatment in a comfortable and stress-free environment and be back at her desk in around an hour.
Rachel, 40, was diagnosed with breast cancer in July 2016 and underwent surgery soon after. She had a PICC line inserted and was treated on the MCCU weekly at first, but since the end of 2016 she has attended every three weeks for a dose of Herceptin.
“I think the service is amazing,” she says. “Everyone should know about it – especially that you can get treatments like line flushing as well as chemotherapy on board. I love the staff – they’re always happy and smiling, and they make me feel so welcome. I get coffee, biscuits and a friendly reception every time.” Rachel has got to know the nurses who work on the MCCU well, as well as some of the other patients. “It’s good to talk to other people going through the same as you,” she says.
Without the MCCU coming to Sudbury, Rachel would have to take half a day off work every three weeks. “It’s such a good service to have on the doorstep,” she says. Her enthusiasm has extended into fundraising for Hope for Tomorrow – an evening event recently raised over £900 for the charity.