Brenda’s Story

Brenda suffers from advanced ovarian cancer and began receiving support from the Hospice just under 12 months ago, but before then, she feared the word hospice and its implications.

“It was the district nurse who first brought up hospice support, and I told her I wanted nothing to do with a hospice. But she said, ‘Brenda, it’s nothing like you think it is’, and it wasn’t.


First impressions

“My first interaction with the hospice was with Sophia, who treated me with reiki and massage therapy, and Lindsey, who I saw for counselling. From that first day, everyone I met, including the volunteer on reception, had smiles on their faces and was very welcoming. I immediately thought, this is the best thing I’ve ever done.

Shortly after, I was introduced to Craig, a hospice nurse specialist who would be looking after me at home. He sorts out any problem I have and is only ever a phone call away- he is better than any doctor to be honest.

I was so fearful of the hospice, and I’ve had times where I’ve felt low because I know I am deteriorating, but they are there to help when I need them. They help with my medication and even wrote me a list, so I don’t get confused with it all. They’ve made it clear for me to understand what I need to take and when.”


Managing pain and mobility

“At one point, I started feeling pain in my left groin which kept me awake at night. I spoke to Craig, who tweaked my medication to help manage the pain and it really helped. I’ve been able to sleep better at night which also means my husband Eric has been sleeping, so it’s helped both of us.

When I’m not doing well, I call Craig. Even when he’s out in call he phones me back to make sure I’m OK and gives me advice. I couldn’t do without him and I don’t know what I’d do without the hospice now.

They’ve also helped me with my mobility and provided me with a bed rail, a stroller and a wheelchair, as I struggle getting myself up and moving around. It’s been brilliant, I’ve even been able to go on walks with Eric. We sometimes to go Costa on the retail park or have a look around Sainsbury’s, I can let Eric walk around and I’ll have a sit down. All these things make my life easier.”


Visiting the Hospice

“After speaking to Craig about visiting the Hospice, I’ve decided that now is the time to go. I want to have a look around the ward, meet the nurses and make sure I feel comfortable.

Everyone thinks the Hospice is just for end of life, but I might go to the Inpatient Unit for a couple of days if they feel like my pain isn’t getting under control, just to help manage things.

It really is a very positive place, it’s not all doom and gloom like people think.”

This story was published February 2024.