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Patient care

(as other),


This story may lead to a change

About: John Fawkner Private Hospital Kerang District Health St John of God Bendigo Hospital

Late in 2018 my partner was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He had a Wipple's operation at the John Faulkner Hospital Melbourne. The care he received there by staff was outstanding. We found all the staff (medical  & domestic) very friendly, compassionate & supportive.

Since his operation he has started chemo. 12 rounds, every 2 weeks. 5 hours of chemo, then home with a chemo pump for 48 hours 

He has his chemo at St John of God Hospital Bendigo. Where we meet with the most amazing ladies in oncology. Claire, Jackie & Kahlia are so caring, understanding, compassionate, supportive, they always welcome us with a smile & ask if there is anything we need or they can do for us. They make all there clients feel important & that they are not alone while going through this journey. Thankfully no question is a dumb question, and they answer all our questions in a way we can understand it. They also explain every part of the treatment, which is very important to us.

To help cut down on travel, Claire arranged for my partner to have the pump taken of at the Kerang District Health oncology department. We were met by Cindy who along with other staff members Karen & Candice have been very accommodating, taking the pump off, and on the second week redoing his dressing over the PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter)  line. Once again we have been shown how compassionate, understanding & caring the oncology nurses are. You are just not a number to them, you are a real person going through a very tough period of your life. 

As a partner of someone going through cancer treatment, I am so thankful for all the staff we have had the pleasure of meeting along the way. Not only do they care about how my partner is going, they show the same care to me.

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Responses to this story

Response from Chloe Keogh, Director of Clinical Services, Kerang District Health We are preparing to make a change

picture of Chloe Keogh

Dear Quamby,

Thank you for your story, and what a journey you have both been on. It is so good to hear that you have consistently met healthcare professionals who supported you with compassion, understanding and caring throughout the different organisations that you attended, and also I am additionally heartened to hear that you have been able to access care closer to home as your journey progressed, saving you a lot of travel.

We have been doing a small project on Cancer Survivorship groups in our area, as they are ideally Volunteer Led Support groups (as recommended by Cancer Council of Australia), that are inclusive for people of all ages and stages, and with a focus on healthy living (exercise, diet, supports etc) for people who have been on or are still on a cancer journey. These type groups seem well run and popular in larger regional towns, but not so common in smaller rural towns, despite the evidence that finds they are a strong supportive network for those attending.

We are continuing to work with Murray PHN on this, and I would love to find some innovative ways of supporting people in our region to have access to this style of Cancer Survivorship group for the future. I will filter any information either through the local newspaper or through the oncology nurses to keep everyone informed as to what is happening in this space. Any thoughts that you have about this, either yourselves or from others who you know on a similar journey would be most appreciated.

Kind Regards


  • {{helpful}} {{helpful == 1 ? "person thinks" : "people think"}} this response is helpful