Terry is family man from Harlow who has always enjoyed a bit of DIY. He was first referred to St Clare Hospice by his lung consultant because he was in terrible pain.
Terry had originally been diagnosed with prostate cancer. But this had spread to his lungs, and subsequently his bones, and he was unable to cope with the pain. “He put me in touch with St Clare because he said that ‘they’re the experts in pain relief’ and that’s how it started,” Terry recollects.
“I got a call from someone at the Hospice,” said Terry. “It was in the middle of lockdown so I wasn’t expecting to see anyone, but someone from the hospice came to see me. I’m now taking things to control the pain and it means that I can cope but I still find it hard to do things. I just want to sit in the chair and I can’t drive now.”
Terry’s referral came at a time when plans for the Hospice’s new Wellbeing Hub were developing. The Hospice’s Therapy team thought that the new six-week Living Well Programme could help Terry maintain independence and self-manage his illness.
“I got a call to see if I’d like to come to the Living Well Programme,” recalls Terry.
“I wouldn’t have come as I’m not very sociable and felt unsure about it, but my wife said that I should. It turned out to be a very good decision.”
“The course was very good. It brought you out of yourself and let you talk about things that are on your mind. I don’t talk about these things with my wife or my family; I just don’t want to burden them with how I’m feeling. They have a lot on their plate already and they don’t need me telling them what I’m going through.”
St Clare Hospice’s new Living Well Programme has given Terry the chance to open up and share his experiences. It’s also helped him to find new ways to cope with what he’s going through. But it’s given him more than that; he’s also found friendship through being on the course.
“I’ve met two friends now through being part of the living well programme,” says Terry. “I can talk to Garry and Andy about what I’m going through and they understand.”