Sue has been attending Day Hospice for over a year now, making use of various services including Expressive Movement Therapy. Sue says Day Hospice brings huge value to her life; it’s the one point in the week when she doesn’t have to be strong, or positive for others. The support Sue receives- not just from the staff, but from the volunteers and other patients as well- is a huge boost to her wellbeing. Sue also notices the change in others when they join the group, too, describing one patient who looked unwell when they first arrived but by the end of the day looked so much brighter and better, just having spent time with others in a similar situation.
“When you step into the world of terminal illness, you step into a world like no other. I’ve stepped in and out of other worlds in my life; addiction, recovery, Church, the 12-step programme, but none of them are quite like this world, which I now find myself a part of.
They do all have similarities, though, particularly in the concepts they share. Through them all runs a common thread which for me is tightly knotted around Weston Hospicecare; acceptance, honesty, and caring. These three values plait themselves into the thread that holds the hospice together; the golden thread.
Recovering from an infection which left me absurdly weak, I found I could drive, but not walk far; my knees had become unpredictable. I practised walking with my 3-wheel aid to make sure I could make it from the car park to the hospice doors. As I told the group, accurately if not very politely: “Sod all was going to stop me getting to Day Hospice.”
I find unique in my present situation, a place and a people who accept the reality of terminal illness; people who don’t pretend that death is sitting in in a waiting room, reading a magazine until it’s our time to leave; who can grieve losses and still find laughter in most situations. What this does, is allow me to get on with what I’m doing; learning how to live with my cancer, enjoying my remaining life, and when my time is up, go into that waiting room and tell death he can keep the magazine if he likes, I’m sure we could spare it. Coming to Day Hospice each week allows me to live with honesty, and in complete security.
I have now been given three months to live, and although I intend to prove ‘them’ wrong, it does underline all that I’ve written. I can cope with what is happening, face what is going to happen, and enjoy myself, because every Thursday, I come to the hospice.
I am surrounded by friends, and supported in what I am doing. I am learning many things, and experiencing a spirituality that is not panicked by our situation, but one which thrives.
There aren’t enough words to say what the hospice means to me; I just hope my story is enough to give some idea of how marvellous this place is.”