Friday 18 December 2015

Coughs and sneezes spread diseases - Jo Taylor

Christie patient Jo Taylor

Jo Taylor - Christie patient

On 1st October this year I was scheduled in for a regular appointment with my GP, while I was there he asked me if I would like my flu jab. Without hesitation I said ‘yes’!

I was 38 and married with two young children when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. My daughter was five months old and my son was two and a half. It was a HUGE shock. Before being diagnosed I’d always suffered respiratory problems which have made me susceptible to infections and coughs and colds. I had my tonsils out when I was 21 and since then I’ve not have the defences needed to stop chest infections.

Having my flu jab made total sense.

As a patient, the last thing I want is to be unnecessarily ill and forced to delay my treatment for any reason. This is why it’s so amazing that The Christie tries so hard to make sure as many staff as possible have the flu jab. The nurses I’ve spoken to are determined to keep the patients as well as possible. Last year The Christie vaccinated the second highest number of staff in the country and this year they want to hit the top spot.

Last year, during my chemotherapy treatment, I caught the flu and it was horrendous. I was so ill I couldn’t even leave my bed, I was incredibly lucky not to have been hospitalised. And for some vulnerable people that catch it, the flu can be life threatening. 

It’s so encouraging to know that everyone I come into contact with at The Christie will have been offered the flu vaccination. The Christie is an amazing place for treatment and the staff are well aware of the risks of flu.  They know their patients have a weakened immune system and need all the help they can get to stay well during treatment. I wouldn't want to be treated anywhere else, the clinicians and nursing staff - in fact everyone I have met - are the most welcoming and understanding of cancer.  And to know that they are so willing to go the extra mile to make sure their patients are safe by getting their flu jab is so reassuring. 

Although I wouldn’t have expected anything less…it's The Christie way.

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