Retired teacher, Lyn, will be 80 next month. She started coming to Day Therapy on a fortnightly basis after initially feeling like it wasn’t for her.
“I remember thinking ‘why do I want to go to Day Therapy?’ I didn’t see the point in sitting around with other dying people. But a friend of mine convinced me to give it a go.
“So I went along to the first session, I spent most of the day crying. But on the way home, I smiled. I felt happy for the first time in a long time, so I continued to go and it just got better and better. The support is invaluable.”
Lyn, who has renal cancer, says that although her diagnosis is not a positive one, she felt relieved to finally find out what had been wrong with her.
“I was always extremely active. I had been a single mum for such a long time; I did most things around the house for me and my three children. I cooked and sewed because we didn’t have much money back then. I did the gardening and I enjoyed driving my car.
“While I was working as a teacher, doing the job I had loved for many years, I became unwell. I thought that perhaps I was just burning the candle at both ends.
“I developed mumps when I was around 57and I took time off work. Over the next year and half I didn’t really recover. I took early retirement at 59.”
The grandmother of nine from Kenilworth in Warwickshire says her health became progressively worse following her retirement.
“I developed a heart condition and high blood pressure. I was depressed and unwell. “I was taken into hospital for pneumonia in 2015. Whilst I was there I developed, what I thought was haemorrhoids. I was told the condition would settle once I was home, so I thought nothing of it.
“Then I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and anaemia. I just kept going downhill. It got to the stage where I wasn’t coping at all.
“A friend of mine, Sue, suggested I do a stool sample and get it looked at. And I’m so glad she did. Within days I was seen by the hospital and I was told I had a cancerous area in my rectum.
“I’ve had 28 treatments of radiotherapy, but that had to stop because my kidneys started to fail.
“Unfortunately the cancer has now spread to my liver and my lungs.” Lyn has since been admitted to the Ward at LOROS Hospice, and despite her initial reservations, Lyn says the service is priceless.
“Before coming here I was pretty much starving myself because I daren’t eat certain foods because of the pain.
“I’ve been eating much better since I’ve been on the Ward. Being in LOROS is comforting; it’s nice to know there’s always a medical professional around if you want to ask a question. You’ve got to be here to feel the safety, serenity and comfort. It’s priceless.”