My brother Paul was diagnosed with cancer in March 2016. It was a shock to us all, even though he’d never been a well person. He’d been down for a liver transplant for a long time and we’d been around hospitals a lot over the years.
When Paul started feeling more unwell, we thought it was just his liver deteriorating. However, he went for a scan and it came back that he’d got cancer on his liver, lungs and gall bladder. There was nothing that anybody could do. They said he could have chemotherapy but it wouldn’t cure him.
Paul knew his time was limited and he came to look round Wakefield Hospice with Mum and Dad. He thought it was a lovely place and he wanted to either come here or be at our parents’ home. But Mum and Dad didn’t have the facilities and it would have been difficult for him to get up and down the stairs at their house.
After they’d looked round the hospice, Mum and Dad took Paul to the caravan on the east coast for the weekend. But Paul became very ill while he was there and they had to take him to St James Hospital. We realised he only had a few days left to live. It was so sudden and he was scared. We made a promise that we’d stay with him to the end, and that’s what we did.
Paul died just three months after being diagnosed with cancer. He was only 46. I struggled getting my head round the fact that something like that can happen so quickly. I was left reeling, thinking, ‘He’s gone now – what happens next? Where do we go?’
Someone suggested to Mum about going to the hospice for bereavement support, so she comes up every week and attends the group session. The support she’s received has been brilliant.
Mum thought I could also do with bereavement support. I thought I was strong enough to deal with it and could get through it, but I did need some help. I come up every three weeks for sessions with the bereavement support coordinator. I‘ve also had treatments with the complementary therapist. The care is second to none.
I have days when I wake up and just want to pull the quilt back over and shut the world away, but I come to the hospice and have a treatment, speak to the bereavement support team and offload. The staff are so lovely, and the hospice is a tranquil place. I get this inner peace as soon as I drive into the car park.
Wakefield Hospice isn’t just for patients, it’s also a lifeline for relatives who are left dealing with the loss of a loved one. The grieving process is awful and it’s so nice that the hospice gives support and care when our loved ones have passed away. It’s a truly wonderful place and that’s why donations are vital to help provide the much needed service that they offer.
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