In 2004, aged 58 years old I went for a routine mammogram. They found a lump in my right breast, it was then I was told I had Breast Cancer. I had a lumpectomy.
Nurses at Burnley General Hospital suggested that I should seek support from Rossendale Hospice. I am quite an introvert and was reluctant to join a group of people I didn’t know. Someone came to visit me at home and convinced me to ‘give it a try’. So I did.
Despite my initial thoughts, I found visiting the Hospice had a very positive atmosphere. I attended on a day when all the patients were ladies of all ages with a breast cancer diagnosis.
During the ten sessions, I tried a range of therapies including psychotherapy, aromatherapy massage, relaxation technique and reiki. The psychotherapy calmed and helped me come to terms with my diagnosis and, in addition, address some old memories.
Attending Day Therapy gave me some ‘me time’, it gave me a reason to go out instead of sitting looking at four walls. Having a lovely meal cooked by someone else (with a glass of wine if I wanted it) and not having to wash up was a real treat. I felt so relaxed I often drifted off during the afternoon relaxation sessions.
Most of all talking to other ladies, all at different stages of their treatment, really helped me. The peer support increased my self-confidence.
Twelve years on, I am in good health and have good memories of Rossendale Hospice. I fondly remember the other ladies I met, the nurses who were so knowledgeable and the volunteers who were also so caring. I often wonder what happened to others and wished I had kept in touch.
Further to reading the recent Hospice newsletter, I was inspired to share my story and would like to urge all women to go for their routine mammogram and, if needs be, access the wonderful services and support of their local Hospice.