A Weston Hospicecare patient has given a candid account about finding peace from just being in the inpatient unit.
After being mistakenly treated for constipation in 2011, hospice patient Sharon was then diagnosed with rectal cancer after several tests.
After treatment at the hospice in 2017, Sharon was discharged before symptoms restarted sometime later. Sharon knew, whether it was to die or be treated and discharged once more, she wanted to come back to the hospice.
She said: “Sometime after I was originally discharged from here in 2017, the symptoms did restart again and it became unbearable. I asked to come back to the hospice from the palliative care department at Weston General Hospital and since I have come back, my symptoms have come back under control, but it is only early stages.”
Sharon says although she always knew she wanted to be treated by the hospice her family were scared because of the misconception people just go to the hospice to die.
In 2017, more than a third of the hospices inpatients were discharged after an average stay of two weeks. But once Sharon arrived at the hospice, her family were put at ease.
She said: “I always knew I wanted to come here to the hospice, my family were frightened of me coming here because they used to think of this place as death.
“I first came to the hospice in a very bad way, and I saw Dr Helen Horgan and she spoke with my family and they couldn’t believe what everyone was like in here and how comfortable I looked once I did get here rather than the hospital.”
Before Sharon moved to the inpatient unit for the second time earlier this year, she was suffering from symptoms that used to make her lose consciousness and now she is living day by day in a stable condition with the hope of being able to discharge her once more.
She said: “I was at peace as soon as I got here and despite all the discomfort I was going through, the doctors and nurses made me feel so much better, it is a miracle really. I had nothing to worry about, and neither did my family. They have transformed my families’ perception to a point where they don’t want me to be cared for anywhere else now.
“Dr Helen wants to make sure if there’s a chance I can go home again then to do so with minimal chance of my symptoms flaring up as they have done previously. She said to me ‘It’s best to live your life as happily as you can now, get your head around what is happening and get your families head around what is happening and just enjoy the rest of your days’.
“I can’t praise the staff here enough, nobody walks through the door with a miserable face. I cannot praise the hospice enough for the care they have given me over the last couple of years.”
Hospice nurses pride themselves in making patients, friends and family as comfortable and as welcome as possible, for as long as they are needed. Sharon’s partner regularly comes into the hospice to visit and recently nurses have they set up a table so the couple could enjoy a nice meal together.
Sharon said: “My partner came to see me last week and they made the table up, served us, made sure we had drinks and made it really nice for us.”