Patient story

The Hospice is a lifeline to me and my family

Could you be a lifeline to patients and their loved ones?

Help us to continue to provide expert care and compassion to other patients and their loved ones by making a donation to St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

“People think Hospices are where people go to die, but actually, St Wilfrid’s Hospice is helping me live”

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 at the age of 36. At the time, I had a three-year-old daughter, and I was 13 weeks pregnant with my son. My son was born at 35 weeks so that I could continue my treatment and I had my radiotherapy. Once my treatment ended, I was able to return to my career and my life carried on as normal.

In November 2019, I noticed that I had a lump just
under my collar bone, and I knew straight away the cancer was back. After a biopsy and several scans, I was told in January 2020, a week after my 41st birthday, that the cancer had returned in my bones and liver and was now incurable.”

“The next months were some of my darkest, and after Covid had hit, I had to have all of my chemotherapy and radiotherapy on my own. I was actually alone in a room with a doctor when I was told that my cancer had then spread to 17 places in my brain, I couldn’t even have my husband there with me. No one should have to receive that news alone.

Shortly afterwards, my breast care nurse referred me to St Wilfrid’s Hospice. Hearing that I had to go to a Hospice was one of the most shocking things I have ever heard. As soon as you hear Hospice, you think you are going there to die and I wasn’t ready to accept that.”

I wish I had said yes to help sooner. I was very resistant to accept support from St Wilfrid’s, but now they have become a lifeline to me and my family.

“I have found this cancer journey very lonely, but
thanks to the wonderful people at St Wilfrid’s, I feel less alone. Julie, my wonderful nurse, seems to know when to call me and has honestly lifted me from my darkest day.

Every fortnight I come to the Hospice and I visit Joe for counselling, and Cathy for Reflexology and Reiki. Joe and Cathy are better than any medication and I can’t even begin to describe how much they have helped me. I have such a special connection with Cathy, if I could get a prescription for Cathy, I would! I actually think she has magical powers, and if there are angels on Earth, Cathy is mine.

The Hospice is such a special place, it’s honestly
the highlight of my fortnight. People hear the word Hospice and they always pull the same face, and I don’t think that people understand that people like me use their services. I myself didn’t understand before that Hospices were for all ages, at all stages of illness.”

“I always said that I wanted to be at home when I die, but I have actually changed my mind to be here at the Hospice, because I didn’t know about the family rooms or any of the other support, and I don’t want my children to associate their home with what will become an empty bed, I don’t want that for them. The fact that the Hospice is centred around the family and not just me, made it easier to change my mind.

Yes, my illness is incurable, but the phenomenal team at St Wilfrid’s are making sure that however long I have left to live, I can be as comfortable, active and peaceful as possible.”

Not only do they help me live, but they help me live well.

“I do get happiness when I come here, and I never thought that would happen. You walk through the door and it’s like someone has taken a weight off
of you. It gives you your armour so you can put it
back on again and go back out there and face the
next load of chemo or radiotherapy.

The people at the Hospice have truly changed my
life for the better. Knowing that this place is going
to be there for my family too, all throughout, is
really reassuring. At the moment I don’t think my
family are ready to access any support, but I know
Joe and the team know me well enough to look after them, it truly means the world to me.”

Could you be a lifeline to patients and their loved ones?

Help us to continue to provide expert care and compassion to other patients and their loved ones by making a donation to St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

 

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