When Sue was diagnosed with lung cancer she needed to be in Hobart to access life-saving treatment at the Royal Hobart Hospital. Sue’s home in Oatlands is more than an hour away from Hobart. For Sue, whose treatment included chemotherapy and radiotherapy, this commute was simply too much.
Sue experienced fatigue and was concerned with her energy levels and her ability to drive to and from Hobart each day for treatment. After talking with her doctors, Sue was referred to the social work department.
Thankfully, the social workers were able to find a room at Fight Cancer Foundation’s John Opie House for the duration of Sue’s eight week treatment.
Sue was now a five minute walk to her hospital, which eased the physical and emotional burden of this incredibly stressful time.
“Staying at John Opie House reduced my travelling times which reduced my fatigue levels and also reduced stress due to worrying about getting to treatment. I was able to get reasonable rest periods during the day and had good sleep patterns through the night,” explains Sue.
Something as simple as being able to rest comfortably, in their own space, makes a world of difference to someone receiving life-saving medical treatment. John Opie House offers seriously ill Tasmanians and their carers this respite from the overwhelming and unfamiliar hospital environment.
Not only was John Opie House a home away from home for Sue, it also offered her a supportive and understanding community of people going through similar trauma.
Sue cherished this aspect of John Opie House, explaining “the support from other people in the house has been amazing and uplifting. Whilst in the house there has been many discussions amongst people staying there and the uniform, consistent comments have been how lucky we are to have John Opie House. It is great that people have somewhere away from home to stay whilst a family member or themselves requires medical care.”
In 2019, John Opie House will offer more than 5,100 room nights to seriously ill patients and their carers from across Tasmania. Each room night represents someone like Sue, whose life has been turned upside down by a devastating diagnosis.