Carol Wright

It was 2012 when I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, the beginning of what was a very frightening, emotional and difficult time. My District Nurse was concerned that I had become quite reclusive and referred me to Rossendale Hospice. I was reluctant to go and was too weak to drive myself but, after some persuasion, I was picked up from home by the Hospice transport.

At the Hospice I met other ladies who had breast cancer. It was so good to talk to others who knew how I felt, what fears I had. We compared notes about our emotions; one person may have a ‘down day’ whilst others may have a ‘good day’; we all supported each other. Counselling helped enormously too.

Talking helped so much because I felt I could not talk openly to my family about my real fears or tell them how frightened I was that one day I would not wake up. I didn’t dare tell my family because I loved them and I didn’t want them to worry. The nurses have such an uncanny way of knowing you have more on your mind than you initially tell them. At the Hospice you can be you.

In January 2016 I rejoiced at making the four year mark. One month later however I was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer. I have had my bowel, appendix and gall bladder removed. I was offered chemotherapy but the risks were as high as the benefits so I declined.

One of the barriers I had was facing the fact that I had cancer. It took a long time before I could voice those words.

When I was referred to the Hospice for the second time, Rita, one of the Day Therapy nurses sat with me to do an assessment. She sat with me and just listened, giving me words of encouragement with tenderness and care that you don’t experience with any other health care professionals. Peace came from her understanding. I was re-assured that I was going to be looked after.

I look forward to coming to the Hospice on Thursdays, sometimes I long for Thursday to come. I have tried, enjoyed and benefitted from all the different complementary therapies available and this time around I feel like I am helping others by being able to share my experiences.

I have also developed skin cancer and in September I will be undergoing more surgery. When people contribute to the Hospice, I don’t think they have any idea of the real benefits of supporting the Hospice and helping people like me.

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