Cancer Story - How they face the Coronavirus outbreak

Fan Kei-ki - Relieved

       Kei-ki had a lot of questions and doubts about cancer before visiting Maggie’s Centre. She was not only worried about her health condition, but she was also troubled by her lack of cancer knowledge and the financial burden. When she first visited Maggie’s Centre, she saw a notice at the door that the Centre had temporarily suspended face-to-face activities to reduce the health risk under the Coronavirus outbreak. However, the Centre’s nurse saw the fear on her face and, therefore, invited her to come into the Centre anyway, introducing its cancer support resources and services.

      Although the Centre can only provide limited cancer support services during this difficult time, it continues to share practical information to our users through phone and email correspondence. So, when Kei-ki had any doubts or discomfort, she could still contact our nurses for useful advice. Without fail, the calls always brought her some relief.  She said, “Maggie’s Centre’s staff always made me feel relieved.”.

     Moreover, when Kei-ki was newly diagnosed with cancer, she found it difficult to open up to her family because she did not want her elderly parents to worry about her — especially when there were still so many uncertainties. Nevertheless, she finally got the courage to tell her parents after consulting the nurse at Maggie’s Centre. In this way, not only Kei-ki, but also her family were put at ease upon receiving support from Maggie’s Centre.

      Even though Kei-ki was diagnosed with cancer, she faces it positively and believes that it is an opportunity to learn and grow. She also encourages other cancer patients to remain positive, as well as consuming nutritious food for the sake of their overall well-being.


Iris Cheung - Support

      During the Coronavirus outbreak, Iris experienced a lot of feelings of isolation and abandonment. At the time, she also experienced some family challenges which further frustrated her. Luckily, upon receiving useful advice from the clinical psychologist at Maggie's Centre, she started to believe that there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

     At one point Iris mistakenly believed that she had been infected by the Coronavirus and thus felt so helpless. She had sought medical consultation from private clinics twice and both times doctors advised her to do a test for Coronavirus. It so happened that, around the same time, the Centre held an online meditation workshop. Before starting the workshop, Iris voiced her concerns at the chatroom and said “Sorry, I am worried about my health and am feeling a bit upset, so please excuse me from the workshop.” The instructor and users showed their care to her so she felt empowered to join in anyway.  After the workshop, the Centre’s staff and clinical psychologist also followed up with a call to comfort her.  It made Iris feel great warmth and that she was cared for, and she did not feel lonely when she faced difficulties.

    Iris was so glad that she could share her thoughts with the Centre’s staff and fellows through the Centre’s online platform during this difficult time. She was also able to learn different nutrition tips from their online nutrition workshop, enabling her to keep learning during the journey. Iris is looking forward to meeting the staff and fellows at Maggie’s Centre again to share love and care when the Coronavirus subsides.


Li Kwok-yau - Encouraged

       Under the Coronavirus outbreak, Kwok-yau was extremely anxious due to the inadequate supply of surgical masks. But right away, she received a message from Maggie’s Centre that they would offer anti-epidemic supplies to Centre users. In just a few days, Kwok-yau received some surgical masks and healthy drinks from the Centre. It made her feel cared for and her family was also happy for her.

      During this time, Kwok-yau felt very bored at home. However, when she received a call from the oncology nurse of Maggie’s Centre, she was so delighted as she heard a familiar voice which was friendly and caring. Furthermore, Kwok-yau regarded the nurse as a reliable and trustworthy person. Thus, when the nurse instructed, reminded, and encouraged her to do exercise regularly, it was indeed a powerful motivator for her and helped to cheer her up. The call was definitely “a shot in the arm” for Kwok-yau, making her feel at once energised and at ease.

       More than ever, Kwok-yau was concerned about her health, especially in the face of the Coronavirus outbreak. She was fortunate to enroll in some of the online workshops held by Maggie’s Centre. For example, when she participated in the online meditation and relaxation course, it helped to reduce her stress and anxiety significantly. Kwok-yau reported that  “Every staff at Maggie’s Centre was remarkably supportive and devoted, empowering people affected by cancer to live positively even when resources are limited during this challenging time.”.


Choi Mei-ling - Confide     

        In the face of the Coronavirus outbreak, Mei-ling was not extra concerned. What did worry her was that she needed to start a new cancer treatment during that time. Not only was she concerned that her situation would bring additional burdens to her family, but she also worried that, given the social distancing measures, she would not be able to see her family if she had to be hospitalised. Although Mei-ling could accept this fact, it added undo psychological stress on top of the usual concerns cancer patients have about the effect of their cancer treatments. Fortunately, even though Maggie’s Centre had temporarily suspended face-to-face activities in general to minimise the health risks, the Centre’s nurses were still open to meeting in person to discuss any urgent fears. Moreover, the Centre still offered phone consultations during this period, so Mei-ling could seek timely advice from the nurses before she went to the hospital for a follow-up consultation with her doctors. For Mei-ling this meant, “If I did not have the support and help provided by the Centre during this period, I would have felt very hopeless and afraid.”.

       Mei-ling believes that Maggie’s Centre is a vital communication bridge. Although crying is one way to express and reduce distress temporarily, confiding to the peers and staff at Maggie’s Centre is a longer term solution for psychological well-being. Mei-ling appreciates that healthcare professionals at the hospitals help reduce her physical discomfort, but she encourages other cancer patients to seek psychological support, enabling themselves to improve their overall quality of life.