Community cancer nurse Mel takes on The MoonWalk London

"I see first-hand every day how a cancer diagnosis changes a person’s life."

Mel (2nd from right) with her work team for The MoonWalk London 2024

Mel’s story:
“I work as a community cancer nurse, based at Hinchingbrooke Hospital in Huntingdon. Every day, I see first-hand how a cancer diagnosis changes a person’s life. I’ve signed up to take on the Full Moon (26.2 miles) at this year’s MoonWalk London with a big team of work colleagues – we want to do as much as we can to help.

I’ve worked with cancer patients for many years. Previously, I was a breast cancer specialist nurse, which involved meeting patients in clinic when they were given their diagnosis of breast cancer and supporting them throughout their treatment.

Five years ago, I started working as a community cancer nurse - we are a team of nine nurses. I’m attached to the Woodlands Centre at Hinchingbrooke which is an oncology unit, where cancer patients go to have their chemotherapy and other treatments.

My role is to see patients in their own homes, to carry out tasks such as pre-chemo assessments and blood tests, as well as well as other cancer treatments and acute symptom control. We also give acupuncture for symptom relief, and psychological support. Within the Community Cancer Service, we try and do as much as we can in patients’ homes, (if that’s their preference). This also frees up space in the hospital cancer unit for people who need to have chemotherapy and other treatments there.

It’s wonderful that we can support patients at home – we find that people are often much more relaxed when they’re in their own environment. You build up relationships and get to know people much better – as you can imagine, they’ll talk more openly, when they’re relaxed in the privacy of their own homes. I really love my job and the team that I work with - and particularly that aspect of it.

I first took part in The MoonWalk London back in 2019, again with a group of staff from work. A patient and her mum designed the decorated bras which our team wore during our 26.2 mile walk – they really enjoyed being involved and it was a fantastic way for them to be part of our challenge.

The atmosphere on the night of The MoonWalk was brilliant - we loved it! Obviously, we were very tired at the end, but delighted that we’d ticked off something incredible from our bucket list. At that stage, we weren’t planning to do the MoonWalk again, but then we started receiving emails about this year’s event and we remembered all the wonderful bits! We’ve now signed up for this year’s event with another team and have a variety of staff taking part – myself and my manager, an acute Oncology Nurse, a prostate support worker, a palliative care nurse, an admin team leader, as well as one of our chemo nurses. 

Working with cancer patients every day, we really want to make even more of a difference to their lives – and signing up for The MoonWalk London as a team means that we can do that. Doing the training and then walking together as a team on the night will also be great for staff morale. I love the fact that we’re getting everyone together to do something so positive.

I’d encourage anyone thinking about signing up for The MoonWalk to just do it. It’s such a fantastic event and the money raised by all the MoonWalkers really does make a huge difference. I see first-hand every day how a cancer diagnosis changes a person’s life and that of their family and having worked previously as a breast cancer nurse, breast cancer is a cause particularly close to my heart. As a team, we want to do as much as we possibly can to help”.

Thank you for sharing your story Mel and for all the wonderful work you and your colleagues do.

We look forward to seeing you and your team at The MoonWalk London 2024



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