Thom Carnahan considers the Regina Cancer Patient Lodge (Lodge) an essential service. He’s used the Lodge almost every time he’s needed to come to Regina for appointments and treatment at the Allan Blair Cancer Centre (ABCC). The resident of Canora, north of Yorkton, is battling prostate cancer.
“I think it’s an essential service for people who are having cancer treatment. They’re worried, they’re in a strange place they’re not used to, they’re away from home. It (the Lodge) makes a definite positive impact on people’s lives. I don’t think there’s any question about that,” Thom says.
The Lodge left an immediate impression with Thom and his wife. So much so, they wanted to help out.
Thom’s wife is on kidney dialysis. When they travel, he says they have a lot of stuff. The first time the pair stayed at the Lodge, the cart to carry their luggage to their room wasn’t big enough. Hearing there wasn’t something bigger, Thom went out and bought a larger luggage cart. He even put it together and donated it to the Lodge.
“So I said, ‘Well, I’m pretty impressed with this place,’ and we’re going to be back. So we decided that we would buy a cart and donate it,” Thom explained.
Thom spent four weeks at the Lodge between April and May 2020. He received radiation therapy five days a week during that time.
“It was basically my home,” Thom says.
Thom was at the Lodge on his own. He says the care and attention he received from the staff was incredible.
“I was having difficulty with food. They offered me different kinds of food that went down a lot better. When you’re not feeling well, they know it. They’re a compassionate bunch.”
Thom saw this caring time and time again. He walks with a cane and sometimes a walker. He forgot his walker on one of his trips. Staff found him one to use and told him it was his for the month he was there. It was also the little things the staff did that made Thom’s stay so much better.
“And when they weren’t busy, they were out visiting with us, which made it, even more, a family setting. My wife couldn’t attend with me so the visits were appreciated,” Thom explains.
Thom considers the Lodge an integral part of the cancer care system. In addition to the luggage cart, he and his wife have also donated to the Regina Cancer Patient Lodge Renewal Campaign.
Thom is done his radiation and currently on hormone therapy. He doesn’t know if he’ll need the Lodge again, but if he does, the 77-year-old wants to know it will be there.
That’s why he’s sharing his story. Thom wants everyone to know how important the Lodge is and why the Renewal Campaign matters.