CancerPort | The Patient Education Network

Fiona | The Founder & Editor

My journey with cancer is threefold, I lost my mother at the age of 51 to Inflammatory breast cancer in September 1990, when I was 22 years old. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in October 2012 and I am a breast cancer survivor. In May 2014, my nephew was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia at the age of 5. He is currently on maintenance chemotherapy.

I completed my 4-year nursing diploma in December 1989 and then went on to specialise in Operating Theatre, more specifically as a scrub nurse in Cardiac Theatre.

In March 2000 I moved to Ireland to work in Cardiac Theatre at the Mater Private Hospital in Dublin. After a few years and looking for a new challenge I moved from nursing and into the Quality Department. During my time in the MPH, I was involved in the implementation of a number of electronic systems throughout the hospital and theatre. Finding a new area of interest I decided to broaden my experience and went on to complete my MSc in Health Informatics at Trinity College Dublin in 2010.

My mom was diagnosed in 1988, and at this time there was very little information available for patients and their families about breast cancer, apart from what you were given by your treating Doctor. There was no internet and very few support groups available, and most people didn't talk about Cancer. Looking back, this certainly had a significant impact on me. I wanted to know more and get answers, none of which were forthcoming.

Thankfully times were very different 22 years later when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Educational content was easily available and inherent with your diagnosis and treatment plan.

Whilst there is a lot of information out there; the information you need when you are first diagnosed is very different to what you need a few months or years down the line. Your priorities change. Your initial treatment is over, now you need information on; the impact of cancer on your body, the side effects of the medication, how to manage these side effects, how to stay healthy mentally and physically - basically how to survive cancer. For me, this is when the real journey begins. 

The idea came to me one weekend whilst chatting to a friend, a few months after my lymphoedema diagnosis. Something someone said left me wondering how much more I could have done to prevent it. Did I miss something, could I have done more earlier, why did it fall off my list of things to watch out for? This coupled with my personal cancer journey, my need to do more, my nursing and health Informatics background, resulted in CancerPort.

CancerPort is a single, easy to use, non-aligned breast cancer portal. My aim is to consolidate the best current educational content, created from credible Healthcare Practitioners & Organisations, making it easily accessible to all breast cancer patients, survivors their family and friends.

I am extremely fortunate to work for VisualLive, a company specialising in the digital delivery of Healthcare Education and Communication. Linda Ravenhill, the MD of VisualLive, a personal friend since the age of 17, has given me her personal blessing and carte blanche to set up, manage and promote CancerPort using VisualLive's own eLearning platform.

It is my hope that CancerPort will become your one point of reference for all the information you might need during your journey or lifetime with breast cancer, affording you the opportunity to live the best life possible - as a breast cancer survivor!

Best wishes Fiona

In loving memory of Denese Ker - 11.07.1939 - 23.09.1990

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Updated | 9 Aug 2016

CancerPort Disclaimer: The views expressed on CancerPort are not meant to replace advice from your Doctor or Healthcare Practitioner. You should always seek medical advice before making any changes to your treatment or treatment plan.  This portal is intended to provide general information only. CancerPort has taken every precaution in compiling this portal, neither it, nor any contributor(s) to this site can be held responsible for any action (or the lack thereof) taken by any person or organisation wherever they shall be based, as a result, direct or otherwise, of information contained in, or accessed through, this website.

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