Susan's Story | The Hospice of St. Francis

Susan's Story

The Hospice has been right there for my family

"This was when mum’s positivity was shattered. Family has always been a core part of our life and we spent as much time together as we could."

Nobody made my mum laugh like my dad did. He was genuine, caring, generous, funny. Absolutely hilarious. My mum, Lynda, and dad, Peter, were both so active, healthy and a big part of all our lives. When mum started getting pain in her abdomen she was fully expecting someone to say she had a kidney infection. But they did a scan, found a mass the size of a grapefruit and she needed treatment straight away. Eventually she said to me, “They think it’s ovarian cancer.” It was devastating.

Mum was always so positive, but the year before she passed away was a real rollercoaster. Initially the treatment seemed successful and then all of a sudden a scan showed three masses that had grown substantially. This was when mum’s positivity was shattered. Family has always been a core part of our life and we spent as much time together as we could.

From that stage onwards we were trying to manage her symptoms and mum was being supported by a few places including The Hospice of St Francis. There were happy memories from this time too. She wasn’t able to paint her toenails so I’d go round and we’d have a girly night together.

She felt so comfortable with the Hospice. She knew she could talk about things other than her illness but equally, if she needed to, she could break down, say something difficult and it wasn’t going to bother anyone. They simply made her feel human, like a person again.

Mum had always had a fear of dying alone, but dad was with her at the end. After she passed away we realised just how much the Hospice had done during her final months.

It hit dad hard and left a huge hole in his life. As we began life without mum he tried to throw himself into things – he was an amazing grandad to my boys, Isaac and Noah. Noah had a note in his phone next to dad’s number, which read “The nicest person I’ve ever met” and Isaac always said that grandad made things “more fun”.

The Hospice offered bereavement support to the whole family and it made a huge difference. Both my sons went to the pony days, plus the arts and crafts sessions. Noah used to say, “Mum this feels like a safe place”. He still speaks about Caroline, from the Children's Support team. It gave him somewhere to talk about his loss and the worries he had about it affecting his grandad.

My dad always wanted to support the Hospice. He recognised the impact it had on people’s lives. Alongside volunteering he took part in the Walk Your Ridgeway event – I love this fantastic picture of him at the end! It meant the world for him to be involved in fundraising for the Hospice.

Last year my dad and son Isaac even helped deliver the Hospice’s Light up a Life home packs to people. When dad passed away earlier this year it felt so right that donations went to the Hospice. He would have been so pleased.

The Hospice has been right there for my family, and they are there for you too, should you ever need them. This year I’ve been invited to take part in Light up a Life. The first Christmas without mum was hard, but this one, without dad as well, will be incredibly difficult. We’re so sad they’re not with us anymore. Together, we’ll always remember them and do the best we can in their memory.

I hope you’ll join us, to celebrate the special people you hold close, and to support this amazing charity that has meant so much to my family.

Susan

Mum was always so positive, but the year before she passed away was a real rollercoaster. Initially the treatment seemed successful and then all of a sudden a scan showed three masses that had grown substantially. This was when mum’s positivity was shattered. Family has always been a core part of our life and we spent as much time together as we could.

From that stage onwards we were trying to manage her symptoms and mum was being supported by a few places including The Hospice of St Francis. There were happy memories from this time too. She wasn’t able to paint her toenails so I’d go round and we’d have a girly night together.

She felt so comfortable with the Hospice. She knew she could talk about things other than her illness but equally, if she needed to, she could break down, say something difficult and it wasn’t going to bother anyone. They simply made her feel human, like a person again.

Mum had always had a fear of dying alone, but dad was with her at the end. After she passed away we realised just how much the Hospice had done during her final months.

It hit dad hard and left a huge hole in his life. As we began life without mum he tried to throw himself into things – he was an amazing grandad to my boys, Isaac and Noah. Noah had a note in his phone next to dad’s number, which read “The nicest person I’ve ever met” and Isaac always said that grandad made things “more fun”.

The Hospice offered bereavement support to the whole family and it made a huge difference. Both my sons went to the pony days, plus the arts and crafts sessions. Noah used to say, “Mum this feels like a safe place”. He still speaks about Caroline, from the Childrens Support team. It gave him somewhere to talk about his loss and the worries he had about it affecting his grandad.

My dad always wanted to support the Hospice. He recognised the impact it had on people’s lives. Alongside volunteering he took part in the Walk Your Ridgeway event – I love this fantastic picture of him at the end! It meant the world for him to be involved in fundraising for the Hospice.

Last year my dad and son Isaac even helped deliver the Hospice’s Light up a Life home packs to people. When dad passed away earlier this year it felt so right that donations went to the Hospice. He would have been so pleased.

The Hospice has been right there for my family, and they are there for you too, should you ever need them. This year I’ve been invited to take part in Light up a Life. The first Christmas without mum was hard, but this one, without dad as well, will be incredibly difficult. We’re so sad they’re not with us anymore. Together, we’ll always remember them and do the best we can in their memory.

I hope you’ll join us, to celebrate the special people you hold close, and to support this amazing charity that has meant so much to my family.

Susan