Mick's Story | The Hospice of St. Francis

Mick's Story

Speaking to Mick Pascoe, 68, from Studham, you are struck by his determination and positivity.

His diagnosis 18 months ago with Stage 4 prostate cancer came out of the blue without any of the typical symptoms. Here he shares his story…

“You may have a life-limiting illness and in need of support, but there is so much you can do – and there are people to help you achieve that.”

After he was diagnosed, Mick’s daughters phoned The Hospice of St Francis to enquire about support. “As soon as I walked through the doors of the Spring Centre; the warm welcome from Karen on reception, I was amazed by the Hospice.”

“Since then I’ve had regular meetings; taken part in Thai Chi, Yoga, Nordic Walking, and Complementary Therapy. At the Hospice you are able forget your troubles. The physio team including Marie-Jeanne, Priya, Manisha and Tamsyn are incredible. They have this fantastic sense of humour which I thrive off; I don't know why but what they do really works for me. The way they treat me as an individual and not a patient; the way they keep me safe at all times; how, when I struggle, they encourage me to carry on and prove to myself that I can do it; the fact that they never patronise me or feel sorry for me."

“Antonia, who was the first person I worked with at the Hospice, recognised that I needed some psychological support. I was referred to Kimberley, from the Wellbeing and Family Support team, and my meetings have been invaluable. The Hospice have also supported my wife, Joy, to come to terms with my cancer. She has found it difficult to deal with and the counselling has helped us to work together, given us strategies to cope with the bad times and enabled us to get as much out of life as we still can and enjoy the rest of our time together.”

A special holiday to India, planned for the start of March, was thrown into doubt when Mick was struck by pneumonia just eight weeks before the trip. Following five days in hospital the Hospice team were there to help Mick live his precious life well.

“I wanted to give up on the trip many times because of the setbacks. But somehow the physiotherapy team managed to restore my self-confidence, motivation and determination to keep going every time. They refused to give up on me.”

Returning home after the successful trip, Mick explains how things changed during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“I had one session at the Hospice before the lockdown started. But the support hasn’t stopped, it’s simply adapted. I’ve joined the virtual online yoga sessions run by Priya, which have been magnificent. As I’m on slow release morphine to manage bone pain one of the nurses, Viv, regularly calls me to check how I’m managing my medication. The pain used to be relentless, like nagging toothache, but it is now under control and I always have somebody to contact when it gets worse. They are an incredible bunch of people.”

Prior to the pandemic, Mick was receiving an intravenous bone strengthening drug at Luton & Dunstable University Hospital, but this was stopped due to the lockdown.

“The Hospice stepped in. Dr Chadwick and the team spoke to the oncologist and agreed to administer the drug to manage my increasing pain. I come up to the Hospice Inpatient Unit for a few hours at a time. It’s strange as the Hospice is so much quieter than usual, and the nurses are wearing the protective face masks, but they instantly help you relax and put you at ease. Nothing is a problem and the patients always come first."

“The support of the Hospice has been unbelievable and so motivating. They are very special people and without their help and encouragement I would never have got to India. There’s always something there that’s positive – I know there may be bad days, but these could also be the best times.”