"Losing someone is always something that happens to someone else... something you hear about, but doesn’t affect you."
My Nan, “Diddy” as she was known, was very active. She taught tap dancing, played in the hand-bell group at church and went on trips to London and North Norfolk. Out of the blue in March 2012, Nan was diagnosed with cancer of the vulva, which is very rare. During her treatment, I got engaged and my family looked forward to getting over this ‘blip’ and celebrating at the wedding.
Unfortunately, the check-up after her treatment showed it hadn’t been as successful as hoped and doctors didn’t feel there was anything further they could do. With the support of the community nurses, we were able to grant Nan’s wish to be in a hospice. This meant that her then complex care needs could be looked after and she could spend quality time with us all. After three weeks in Priscilla Bacon Lodge, Nan passed away peacefully with my Mum and Grandad beside her.
My Grandad on my paternal side, “Gramps”, was diagnosed with prostate cancer fifteen years ago. A check-up revealed unfortunately it had spread to his bones and was terminal. Gramps was referred to the palliative care team, but it was stressed he could continue to lead a comfortable and active life with my Nan. He loved going on holidays, taking daily walks into the city and watching Norfolk Bowls Club tour the country.
Just before my wedding, Gramps started to need blood transfusions and suffered a collapse. Scans revealed the cancer had spread to his lungs. We decided as a family that Priscilla Bacon Lodge would be the best place to receive the care and support needed – for Gramps and all of us. My last birthday with Gramps was made very special. The staff threw me a surprise tea party with him – something I won’t forget and it helped make extra special memories when we knew we didn’t have much time left. Gramps passed away a week later, with me, my Nan, Dad and my Husband by his side.
My Stepdad, Brian
Brian started experiencing stomach pains and passing blood in December 2015. He had to have a mass removed from his bowel and a stoma bag fitted. Later, another mass was discovered,in the bile duct which connects the liver to the pancreas. Unfortunately, this is an area which cannot be treated at the present time.
Four weeks later, we received the devastating news that the cancer was terminal and we would be referred to the palliative care team. Brian and my Mum had been together for 22 years but never married. Throughout all the tests, they planned and vowed to do so. On 14th May 2016, they did; with my Husband as best man and me and my two sisters as bridesmaids. Brian passed away five days later in Priscilla Bacon Lodge.