Kathleen Murphy

One evening I spat some blood, the next morning I did again. I didn’t hesitate to make a doctor’s appointment and he referred me for an x-ray. The results of the x-ray showed that I had lung cancer. It was a tremendous shock.

At the time I was caring for my brother in Somerset who had late stages Pulmonary Fibrosis. I had to leave him to see a specialist near home, where I would be treated. Half my lung was removed and the operation was successful, although on the day I met my surgeon to discuss treatment options sadly my other brother fell and died un-expectedly. I fell to pieces and have not really come to terms with his death yet.

Six weeks later I was informed I had secondary cancer; in my back muscles and in my lymph nodes. I have since had radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Tomorrow I will have another scan and next week I will find out the results.

Needless to say, I was feeling really down. My Macmillan nurse suggested I attend Day Therapy. I knew about the Hospice, I knew people who had benefitted from the services provided but at the time I didn’t know how it could help me. As brilliant as my family are, I thought ‘I have to go’.

By attending Day Therapy I have received counselling and hypnotherapy of which I cannot speak highly enough. I have also had reiki, reflexology and massage therapies.

The Hospice is very calming and everyone is so friendly. We (patients) don’t sit around just talking about our illnesses, but it does help discussing things with people who are going through the same thing as you and really do understand, people who are impartial - simply talking to others has helped enormously. I’ve met new people from all walks of life and made new long-lasting friendships. Coming to the Hospice and learning how others have coped has given me the confidence to carry on.

When I am able and hopefully in the near future, I would like to become a Hospice volunteer and help others, it will be my way of saying ‘thank you’.

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