A cancer patient with two young children has said the Government should provide “a lot more help for people like myself”.
Lisa Broderick was diagnosed with cancer in 2019 and underwent treatment for 10 months.
“I had surgery, followed by chemotherapy and radium,” she recalled to Lunchtime Live.
“The prognosis was good, they had removed all the cancer as far as they were aware and once I had finished the treatment, then I was able to get back to living life.”
Initially when she felt a slight pain in her shoulder in early 2022 she thought little of it; however, after a few months she went to her GP.
“At the time I was a home help for the elderly, so it involved a lot of driving and initially I put it down to the driving and I took a painkiller here and there,” Lisa said.
Her GP referred her for an MRI and it revealed that there was cancer in the bone of her shoulder.
“From that day, our lives as we knew it changed completely,” she said.
“The only other tiny symptom I would have had was a pain in my right rib.
“It wasn’t something that bothered me hugely but that can be an alarm bell for liver cancer.
“So, I had a CT the following week and there were two large tumours in my liver discovered.
“So, not a good week.”
Lisa started chemo last year and now takes a regular cocktail of tablets and injections.
“People have said to me, ‘You’re fantastic, getting up and taking the kids to school’ but you know, a smile can be a huge mask,” she continued.
“The thought of ever leaving my children, it is something I obviously hugely struggle with.”
The support from her family has been “fantastic” and the nurses in Kerry General are “outstanding”.
However, the financial worries that come with cancer have made her life a lot more difficult.
“The GoFundMe page has been set up just to help myself and the kids,” she said.
“So we can make memories and I suppose there might be something there for them when I do go.
“I suppose the biggest thing for me is that down the line if I experience more sickness or pain that we can stay here in the house together for as long as we can and we can have the means to get outside help in.
“Because the cost of living, as we all know, has gone up so much… It’s been absolutely a massive help.”
The Government pays Illness Benefit to those who cannot work but Lisa believes the amount is too low.
“I’m getting 280 a week,” she said.
“Everything helps and everything is fantastic and it is good but you can’t live on that.”
Everything has gone up, she took out a loan for a new car just before she was diagnosed.
“I think it’s very hard for anyone to live on social welfare now.
“There could be a lot more help for people like myself [in order to] help to keep us at home.
“I definitely think as a country we’re lacking in that.”
Her advice to those who like her have cancer is to “keep positive” and to anyone in Government, her plea is simple:
“Anything would help, help with the house, increasing certain benefits,” she said.
“Anything would help, anything would be better than what is available now.”
Main image: Lisa and her children.