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Lizzie has been coming to the Living Well Service at the Hospice, on and off, since the Autumn in 2023.
She was referred by her Doctor to the Charity after being diagnosed, with Ovarian Cancer, in January 2023.
Lizzie told us more about her experience:
“My doctor mentioned Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and I said ‘Where is that?’ I then got a letter from Arthur Rank and so got a taxi and came here [the Hospice].
I didn’t have an idea of what to expect. I was always a supporter of Marie-Curie and you get letters about it, and it’s all terribly sad, and I thought it was going to be something like that. But I had to come as she [my doctor] said ‘Give it a try’ – and I never stopped. It’s wonderful really.
I was very nervous the first day but I’m so lucky to have found you. I love the nurses and the carers and the people here you can chat to. I first came in the autumn and the gardens were lovely. There was even a fresh produce stall outside for the general public to take items for a donation.
I did the Tuesday sessions for eight weeks and they asked me, at the end of the sessions, if I would like to have a Caring Communities volunteer come to my house, and I said ‘Yes’ as I didn’t want the sessions to finish.
They paired me with a volunteer called Brenda. She is so interesting, she has travelled the world. She came to me for an hour once a week for a chat. She talked about her family and I talked about mine. My daughter lives in Cambridge too. I am lucky. I have 16 year old twin grand daughters and they have just done their GCSE’s. I was telling Brenda about one of my grand daughters who was offered a trip to Iceland and she said she had been there.
I come from a big family in Southern Ireland. I came to London with friends, when we were really young, and got married in London, before we moved to Southampton. I was always busy – I used to read a lot and go to exercise classes. I loved friends and in Southampton we did different things.
I lost my husband in 2008 and my daughter kept saying ‘Come and live in Cambridge.’ It took me two years, as I lived by the sea in Southampton. It took a while to find a nice place in Cambridge but I love the view here, the gardeners keep it so nice and the mobile library comes to me now.
I used to get a taxi to the Hospice and then Ann-Marie [Lydon, Staff Nurse at the Living Well Service] put me in touch with this gentleman [a volunteer driver] called Derek. I usually get a lift from him but today Brenda is going to pick me up in her new campervan!”
Lizzie took part in the canvas feedback project and decided to write on her canvas. She explained it took her a while to put it altogether and kindly wrote:
“The Living Well Team at the Hospice have given me passionate care and support helping managing my symptoms and encouragement to continue living independently, which is great comfort to be able to call on such a dedicated and caring team, thank you.”
Our ‘Outstanding’ services are provided free of charge to patients and their families. Our aim being to provide the highest quality care, helping people to make every moment count. You can find out more about how we are funded here: arhc.org.uk/how-we-are-funded.