For people like Gwen, LOROS Day Therapy has turned her life around. This time 12 months ago, she admits that every day was a battle for her. One year she tells us how spending time at the Hospice has lifted her up.
For people like Gwen, LOROS Day Therapy has turned her life around. This time 12 months ago, she admits that every day was a battle for her. She was very low and life had become a cocktail of appointments, operations and emotions. One year on and she says spending time at the Hospice has lifted her up. She feels like a person again, not just another number, as she jokes and laughs with staff and fellow patients – something she says is therapy in itself.
This #SundayStory we hear from 67-year-old Gwen Rainbow. Grab a brew and find out why #LOROS has has such a huge difference on her life.
It started in 2011, when doctors discovered a tumour near Gwen’s pelvis, which had been causing her a lot of pain.
Despite having an initially successful operation – which also removed her hip and half her pelvis too - the tumours have returned three times since.
In 2016, the tumours were growing at the base of Gwen’s spine and were impacting on the nerves that control her bowel and bladder. She was told that the only way they could get rid of the tumours would be by amputating her leg from the very top.
After getting a second opinion though, they were told the tumours could be removed without amputation of the leg.
“Being told this was a bright light in the middle of such a bad time,” said Gwen, of Market Harborough.
As well as facing cancer, sadly Gwen’s husband died in 2016, shortly before they were given the news that they could remove the tumours without amputation.
“I can remember feeling so angry because Keith wasn’t there to share the news. He had lived through all of the difficult times with me. He’d been with me through every appointment, every ‘has the tumour grown?’ moment and then the only bit of good news we had – this was a small sparkle among everything else and he wasn’t there,” added Gwen, who admits, it was then that she started to go downhill.
“I felt defeated.”
She had the operation but unfortunately, the cancer returned and this time, it is not operable and it will not respond to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Just when Gwen had reached rock-bottom, she was introduced to LOROS Hospice.
“My community nurse referred me to LOROS, so I attended one of the outreach clinics at Kibworth,” said Gwen.
“Not only did the consultant refer me to Day Therapy but she diagnosed an undetected heart failure.
“If she hadn’t have noticed the heart failure, my story could’ve had a very different ending.”
Gwen was then referred to the Hospice’s Day Therapy service. She says everyone is ‘so kind’ at LOROS and ‘nothing is too much bother’.
“If you have a problem or a query, they will do their best to investigate it, you’re not just left in the darkness hanging around.
“They seemed to pick up on how I was feeling at LOROS and put things in place to help me. “I’ve still got terminal cancer but I feel quite calm about it all now.
“LOROS has made such a difference; it’s been such an exhausting few years.”
Gwen also has massages thanks to the complementary therapy at the Hospice, something she previously thought she was unable to have because of an earlier breast cancer diagnosis that she had overcome when she was younger.
“The team at LOROS investigated this though and it turns out, I could – I’ve since had three. “It’s weird, when you come to LOROS, I feel like you walk through the door and something happens, you get a complete feeling of calmness.”