At the start of 2011, Janet Bent from Telford came to stay on our inpatient ward in Apley Castle to help get her symptoms under control. Before Janet sadly passed away in May 2011, she kindly shared her feelings about her time at the hospice.
“I was diagnosed with mouth cancer four years ago,” said Janet. “After surgery and a year’s treatment I was told that I had months to live and I should consider going to the hospice.”
Like many of our patients Janet had her reservations about coming to the hospice.
“This was very distressing for me and my family. Immediately I thought that’s where I’m going to die now. I had this image that it wasn’t going to be a very pleasant place.
“One morning I had a phone call from the hospice to say that they had a bed available for me if I could get in for 11 o’clock. There was no time to think about it, which in hindsight was the best thing to do.”
Janet instantly found that the hospice was very different to what she was expecting and her fears were soon dispelled.
“The minute I actually walked through the door at the hospice things started to happen. They put everything into place for me without me really realising. I had reflexology and a Jacuzzi bath. The only way I can explain is that it’s like being on holiday. I came here for a well deserved holiday and that’s exactly what I got. I know there are people out there a lot worse off than me but I suppose at the time my needs were just so important, I was in so much pain.
“They have taken my pain away, given me my confidence back and showed me that I can have quality of life and that I’m not alone. I can never thank them enough for all they have done for me and my family.”
Since Janet’s death her daughters Josie and Keli have kindly given us permission to use their mum’s story to reassure others who may be afraid of coming to a hospice. Here, they tell their own story about the care their family received.
“When mum’s Clinical Nurse Specialist first mentioned the hospice we remember saying after she had left ‘that’s not for you mum’, in the back of our minds we thought that’s where elderly people go to die.
“Mum became so poorly and her pain was almost unbearable. After lots of persuading mum reluctantly agreed to go into the hospice to help get her pain under control. The transition from the phone call to mum walking through the door was remarkable, it all happened so quickly.
“The staff were beyond friendly, nothing was ever too much trouble. We spoke directly to her doctor who had a care plan in place from the day she was admitted.
“We remember having a conversation with mum during her stay at the hospice; we remember mum saying she would love to live at the hospice as it’s such a calming and peaceful environment.
“When mum sadly passed away in May 2011 the care for us as a family continued as we were offered support and counselling. The hospice helped our mum through a difficult time. It was a comfort to us knowing we could go home and mum was in the best possible place and she was happy to be there. Knowing this took away all our anxieties.
“We can never thank the staff at the hospice enough for all the care, support and emotional help they gave to our mum and for us too.”