Cllr. Mikey Sheehy shares his own journey with his cancer battle, in his early thirties, as he and his wife Suzanne were excitedly expecting the arrival of their second child. From his diagnosis of stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma Mikey and his family became immersed in his treatment journey in the Oncology Department of University Hospital Kerry.
Candidly, Mikey shared that before his diagnosis he was naïve about cancer and the journey involved regarding treatment. More people are living with and surviving cancer than ever before, and Mikey’s story is one he credits entirely to the Oncology ward in UHK.
Mikey explained “you cannot underestimate the importance of being able to receive your chemotherapy close to home in County Kerry” and “all the team in the Oncology ward in University Hospital Kerry are walking with you in your journey hand in hand, whereby you could call the ward any day at any time, and a supportive team member was ready to assist”.
“These are very private battles that people are going through every day and to have to do it with others around you in such proximity makes it more difficult”.
As Mikey reflects on his own cancer treatment journey seven years ago, he shared “the Oncology Day Ward in UHK is so limited on space and at times there could be up to 10 recliners in use, at a time in your life when you are most vulnerable physically, emotionally and mentally and would value some space and privacy”. “These are very private battles that people are going through every day and to have to do it with others around you in such proximity makes it more difficult”.
Mikey was at pains to explain that this is about the building and not the team, as he credits so highly all the work that the Oncology team do in UHK in what currently are completely unsuitable settings regarding space. This prompted Mikey to become part of the Comfort for Chemo committee, as he more than anyone, fully understands the incredible difference a stand-alone centre of excellence would provide for cancer patients in Kerry and their families.
In his own journey Mikey went on to successfully complete the New York marathon and he credits his return to health to the excellence of care he received at UHK and the support of his family and friends. His daughter Ailbhe arrived safely ten days after his last chemotherapy session and she was joined two years later by younger daughter Caragh.