Having been diagnosed with cancer of the appendix at the beginning of 2016, Ingrid’s condition quickly worsened as the cancer spread to her bowel resulting in two major operations and a course of chemotherapy. As an oncology patient at Northampton General Hospital she was referred for occupational therapy sessions with Cheryl Corrodus, based at the Hospice. Cheryl thought that Ingrid would benefit hugely from attending sessions at the Day Hospice to relieve her anxiety, lack of mobility and fatigue.
“Meeting Cheryl was a Godsend. She arranged for equipment to help me get around at home and be more comfortable including a mattress and special cushion as I finding sitting for only 5 minutes at a time extremely painful. I was reluctant at first about coming to the Day Hospice as my anxiety was so bad I couldn’t face going out. The volunteer drivers made it much easier, I couldn’t believe there were actually people who would come and collect me and drop me at home again!"
“Therapist Gretta found out what support I might need and worked out which support programmes I would benefit from. The fatigue course has been extremely beneficial to me and gives me lots of ways I can ensure I get enough rest and not try to do too much in one day. Now, instead of telling myself I can do everything I need to do in two hours, I take an hour’s rest so life has become a lot more manageable. The therapists also recommend exercises that are suited to everyone in the group, whether they are wheelchair bound or mobile, like me.
“I feel a lot better after the sessions. I can go home and apply the techniques to my daily living. Coming back each week to the sessions means that we can also all share our own experiences of how they have helped us individually which in turn helps the rest of the group.”
“I find the reflexology treatments at the Day hospice extremely beneficial, especially when I was having chemotherapy. The difference in my symptoms was such an improvement, particularly my pain, extreme fatigue, anxiety and panic attacks I was suffering.”
“One of the goals Gretta set for me was about my sleep. Because I was exhausted all the time, I was sleeping a lot during the day which upset my ability to get off to sleep at night. Also, I was waking up all the time to have to go to the toilet because I have to drink a lot of water and I get more thirsty at night."
“She also teaches us relaxation techniques, meditation and breathing exercises which all help with my anxiety.”
“From where I was before I started to come to the Day Hospice, I was very skinny, full of anxiety and could hardly walk when I came through that door, to where I am now is amazing. I’m not sprinting about but I’m now putting on some weight and my appetite is much better and I can look forward to getting out of the house.”
“I have to give thanks to Gretta, all the staff, volunteers and the other patients in the Day Hospice for helping me feel the best I’ve felt for 18 months. If I hadn’t started coming to the Day Hospice I know I’d still be full of anxiety and afraid to go out. The mindfulness and importance of getting out and living life we’re taught really is so important. It gets me out of the house and I go out for walks now every day, except when it’s raining when I stay in and do my exercises!”