The shock of the initial diagnosis was followed by Helen’s typical determination and strength. She began treatment at the Cromwell hospital in London followed by spells in the Wellington and later at London Bridge Hospital. Her consultant, Ceiran Healy, ensured that Helen had the best treatment possible and her care at all times was first class.
All through her illness, which continued into her third and final years at University, she faced her cancer bravely, with courage and good humour and was a lasting inspiration to all who knew her. During these years she lived with her University friends in Bath and later at Bristol and found great comfort and joy in the repartee and warmth that these friends brought her.
Helen also greatly benefited from Penny Brohn UK in Bristol and frequently made the journey from Bishopston (and later Bath) to Pill for healing, visualisation and so many other therapies that Penny Brohn offers. Helen completely supported Penny Brohn’s philosophy; that everyone affected by cancer should have access to life-changing complimentary care. She even convinced her consultants in London of the benefits of this approach, and they too became advocates of the Bristol Whole Life Approach, which centres around working with and alongside medical treatment to help people live well with cancer and thereby improving their quality of life.
Helen did indeed live well. She loved her University days, her friends, their ‘Cava days’ (to celebrate good news or see-off the bad) and graduated with a 2:1 Honours degree from Bath University in 2004. She proudly held her degree in the Abbey at Bath on that summer day and felt that her cancer was at bay – and indeed it was in remission at that time.