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St Oswald's Hospice and me

It’s always lovely to receive feedback from patients and families that we have cared for. Here’s a letter which was sent to us from a family member recently…

"I live 5 to 10 minutes away from St Oswald’s. As a cancer patient I knew it as a Hospice which catered for the terminally ill. Having successfully come through three years of surgery and treatment I really felt that I had my life well in hand. On New Year’s Eve 2010 my little sister, 16 years younger than I, was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer and my world fell apart.

"My feelings ranged from anger, helplessness, fear to depression, when I turned to my specialist nurse at the RVI, she referred me to St Oswald’s for Complementary Therapy and a whole new world of support opened up for me.

"The staff and therapists were kind and caring and then they asked if I would like to take part in a series of Taster Sessions (Positive Steps), run over a period of six weeks. Our group included both cancer patients and carers, some undertaking chemo or other treatments and others like myself currently in remission.

"In a cosy and informal atmosphere and supplied with plentiful coffee, tea and biscuits, we covered topics that included nutrition, relaxation, welfare benefits, coping with grief and how cancer had personally affected us. Being able to freely discuss and share thoughts and fears with like-minded people who understood and had similar experiences of coping with cancer was both therapeutic and a huge relief. There was no need to hold anything back as we do with friends and family, we learnt it was ok to be a little selfish with our time and the need to rest.

"After six weeks, I now have a group of colleagues to talk to, a lot more confidence and somewhere to go when I need support. I strongly recommend you try it."