“The environment was therapeutic, with clinical support available along with exercise and craft based activities. There was always lots of laugher amongst the toughest of times and it was not all morbid and death related.“
“No one ever thinks they will be attending a drop in for cancer patients - but when you or your loved one are suddenly faced with a life-threatening situation, it can feel as though you are standing on a precipice, teetering right on the edge, life seems so dark and scary.
Overwhelmed my husband and I decided to look to see what support is available. We received a telephone call from the clinical nurse specialist from Hospice to introduce themselves and decided to attend the Day Centre. This was quite a daunting experience as I had never been to the Hospice before and associated it with people dying. We were greeted with a cup of tea and a friendly welcome for a chat and were invited along to one of their drop in days which were held 2 x weekly. This was an opportunity to meet other patients and carers facing the same challenges as us and something we found great comfort in and were regulars attenders every Monday and sometimes Thursday for 4 and a half years.
The support was really welcomed with nurses at hand to alleviate any concerns with the different stages in cancer treatment. We didn’t feel so alone and had an instant connection with the patients and carers that we met. The environment was therapeutic, with clinical support available along with exercise and craft based activities. There was always lots of laugher amongst the toughest of times and it was not all morbid and death related. I was fortunate that I had weekly support from Wendy who was the day centre manager and trained counsellor throughout; nothing was too much trouble and she went above and beyond to help me. The In-patient Unit offered symptom control and respite admissions over the years as my husband’s disease progressed and symptoms became less manageable with the toxic treatments. The care we received was the most compassionate and person centred care with a clinical nurse specialist who made home visits when needed.
My youngest 2 children accessed support from Jades place and one to one counselling which helped them understand and process what was happening.
I feel blessed that Hospice were there every step of the way to support my husband and family. A few months after he passed away in 2019 I applied to train to be a nurse. I am delighted to say that I am a Health Care Assistant in the In-patient Unit and work alongside the team who provided amazing care for our family and it is an honour and privilege to be able to do this. In addition, I volunteer with the Admiral Nursing Service who are part of Hospice to give a little back to support them. I’ve actually just had an amazing 8 week placement as well, and qualify as a nurse in July!
I thank Hospice from the bottom of my heart for the compassion and love that we received during the toughest of times. “