Hospice Service User’s Perspective

A positive journey on one of life’s most difficult pathways

 

When my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer the news, for us, was devastating. Even though it was not completely unexpected as she had poor health for a number of years. Our worst fears are realised.

We were very fortunate in that she had excellent care in Wexford General Hospital. She was able to be discharged home, even with that diagnosis. But not before all the supports were put in place for us with Wexford Hospice Homecare.

While our world was shattered at the time, Wexford Hospice Homecare and the nurse provided us with support & courage to help our mother at home.

The only place Mammy ever wanted to be was at home. We were able to care for her there with the support of Joan, the hospice nurse. Initially Mammy was mobile & could potter around a bit.  Daddy was her main carer. She was in her own familiar surroundings. This was for about 3 weeks. Then with failing health, she was in bed for almost a month. We took it turns within the family to look after her.  We had great support from neighbours and friends. We all rallied around to help and stay with her. It wasn’t as difficult as it might seem because once she had her bed bath and the nurse would come and support us.

Fortunately or unfortunately, many of us were from nursing background and people often said “sure what would you need the hospice nurse to be coming in at all then?”  The reality of that is that it’s a very different kettle of fish when you’re emotionally involved.  To have the support and the expertise and clinical knowledge was just wonderful.

Mammy’s pain was very well managed all the time.  The odd time she had breakthrough pain but just a phone call to the nurse and she would tweak the medication, it was just managed so well.

Nearly every family is affected by cancer. It is a very emotional journey particularly if you need the hospice service.  It can be a very frightening place to be but with the support of Wexford Hospice Homecare they make it manageable, a journey that is tolerable.  It’s not only the practical and the clinical but also that emotional and mental support.  It’s having that “go to” person.  No question is ever too foolish, too silly to ask.  You are made to feel so important and that your family are important and that is crucial because you cannot stand alone in that situation. The support is there for you. People are now living with cancer with the support of Wexford Hospice Homecare Nurses.  It’s a living journey.  The prognosis may not be what you want it to be but you are going to live this journey with the support of Wexford Hospice Homecare.  The nurses become part of the family, part of the ingrained network.  It’s a very difficult time for any family.  You think you’re prepared for it but you’re not. The kindness & genuineness of the nurses is humbling but so empowering for a family to have.

Our thanks goes to Linda Thorpe for sharing her story with us.

Photo by www.paulamalonecarty.com