Pam bing in chair smiling

“I’ve always had a big love of the hospice”

“Last September, I noticed a growth in my leg and in January, I was diagnosed with a rare type of sarcoma – Pleomorphic Rhabdomyosarcoma. Within three months, I was referred to St Catherine’s Hospice.

I worked as a Catering Manager here for 27 years and I’ve always had a big love of the hospice.

Coming here was a hard transition at first and I’ll admit I felt anxious. Even though I’m retired now, I didn’t expect to come back as a patient.

I always go away feeling much better”

Every Monday, I come to Day Hospice’s Living Well group and on Fridays, I have counselling. I enjoy weekly acupuncture and hand massages while I’m here, the therapies make me feel so good. For a moment, I forget what’s going on and I always go away feeling much better than when I arrived.

“The Day Hospice Team are wonderful”

Every week, the nurses, Lindsay, Brenda, Wendy and Sylvie, talk to me about my pain and ask if anything’s changed.

Everyone has a misconception that St Catherine’s is a sad place, but there’s laughter, merriment and people smiling despite the sad times. The atmosphere’s lovely too. From the moment you step into reception, it’s like a luxury hotel!

“I’m helped emotionally too”

Mine was such a sudden diagnosis, I needed to talk to someone who wasn’t family about how I was feeling. My counsellor’s also helped me think about my funeral, and eased the pain of that, and helped me plan for end of life.

When I was asked where I want to be, I said at the hospice. I’ve got quite a large family and I know people will want to be close by. Here, there’s lots of places, like the Quiet Room, coffee shop, and lounge where they can go. Professionals are on hand for me and I know there’s support for my family.

“This is the best place to be looked after”

I’ve been told I don’t have long, but I’m still relatively young and not sure I’m ready to go yet.

I don’t want to have my disease but if I have to be looked after, this is the best place.”