Tuesday, 14 July 2015

14 July 15... The Camperdown Country Club

on my morning walk before grabbing Bren a fresh OJ
Today the beautiful Di popped into Bren’s room to say hi and to invite us to the Camperdown Country Club for afternoon tea.  Di is a Lifehouse volunteer, and quite honestly the LH volunteers are the lifeblood of Chris Obrien Lifehouse.

They are there to offer a kind word, a cuppa or a compassionate ear. No request is too difficult and all help is given with a smile and an open heart. Most of these wonderful people have trodden their own cancer path as either a patient or a carer, and they truly get it, they understand.

Camperdown Country Club is held every Tuesday afternoon between 2 and 4pm in the LH Livingroom. It is a place for patients and carers from out of town to get together for a chat and the opportunity to connect. Brendan was unable to come down because his chemo runs 24 hours, but I thought I would duck my head in and say hi. It was a small gathering, just eight adults including me, and a gorgeous little 2 year old boy.

Our group consisted of the a beautiful 95year old lady of grace and dignity, she had come down from 8th floor and had another 3 days as an inpatient before going home, we shared some amazing conversations about her life. She was very proud of the fact that she was an ambulance driver through the 2nd world war and could do the mechanical work on the ambulances herself. Unfortunately she had just failed her last driving test so is no longer a licenced driver...but said she knew that day was coming. She had sadly lost her husband 10 years ago, and missed him very much. Although they had no children it sounded like they had a wonderful marriage.  Then there was the vibrant young woman in a wheelchair, who I imagine may have been in her 20’s, also down from 8th floor, who was excited to be going home tomorrow. She was a very friendly girl who had nursed her dad as be battled and lost his own fight with cancer before being diagnosed herself.

There was also the lovely young parents of the beautiful little boy. It felt like they were a younger version of Brendan and I, only their journey so far had been a year longer than ours. She and I didn’t get a chance to chat, as they had to head back upstairs so he could continue his treatment. They were only here for the day this time around and would be heading back to the central coast this afternoon. As they got up to leave she came over to me to say goodbye, we instinctively clasped hands, acknowledging in each other’s dark ringed, exhausted features what only someone going through the same thing can see with real clarity. In that brief moment saying silently to each other, I see you and I know how you feel. We ran into each other again upstairs and took the opportunity to exchange numbers. As we said our goodbyes; she looked at me and said “I was just saying to my husband, I think she and I would really hit it off!” We will stay in touch.

 I am so glad to have had the opportunity to meet all of these wonderful new people today. Oh and I can’t forget the other two gorgeous volunteers that rounded out our group. Both beautiful, beautiful women, one was the Volunteer manager, the other a Spiritual Counselor of sorts, an interfaith Reverend.  Both keeping the conversation flowing and making sure everyone was comfortable and felt safe enough to open up if they felt they wanted too.

I will definitely be attending the Camperdown Country Club again the next time we are down here on a Tuesday.

Life is good and hope is limitless.
Cal xx

You can find more information on Sarcoma Cancer by following this link: sarcoma

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