David's story

The Spring into Summer Raffle is kindly supported by David. This is his story, told in his own words, whilst a patient on our ward.

David’s story in his own words

This story contains sensitive information, words and phrases that some readers may find difficult.

“Two years ago, after feeling rundown and tired, I was referred for a CT scan, where a tumor was found on my left kidney. Months later, I underwent an operation to remove the kidney, along with a few lymph nodes. I was told that the operation had been successful and I was given the all-clear, or so I thought.

After the operation I was left in severe pain. The next two years were hell; I couldn’t do anything and I couldn’t go anywhere. Almost exactly two years after the operation, I was told that the cancer had actually come back but at stage 4, this news ripped my insides out. There isn’t any history of kidney cancer in my family, so it really was a shock. The pain began to get worse, and I ended up in the hospital, and then from the hospital, I came to LOROS.

When I was first diagnosed, I just wasn’t expecting it. I remember feeling numb; it smashed me to pieces. Because of the type of cancer it is, the chances of survival are really low. There were a lot of tears. Mentally, I’m a mess, and the cancer has made it even worse. I don’t think anyone is prepared for death, especially at my age. Because of the type of cancer, chemo and radiotherapy were both off the table. The options left would bring so many side effects that I didn’t want to die of anything else, so I decided to go for no treatment. With the pain and the cancer diagnosis, the last few years have been a challenge. I’ve had to arrange my own funeral. I couldn’t leave it to my partner or my family. My parents already have to deal with the thought of burying their own child, so it gave me peace of mind.

Prior to coming to LOROS, I had heard of it, but I didn’t really know much about hospices as a whole. My initial take was that you come to a hospice to die and that’s it. It wasn’t until the palliative nurses and doctors informed me that isn’t the case and that you can come in to have your pain better managed which is what I am currently in for. I didn’t know a lot about LOROS before coming here because it wasn’t somewhere that I thought I would need to know about- you don’t think you will get cancer and die, that just doesn’t cross your mind.

Since I’ve been at LOROS, I’ve learned a lot, and I can say it is one of the best places that I have ever come across. The camaraderie is on another level. Everyone is lovely, and the care here is just second to none. Before, I had been cared for at other medical facilities, which I didn’t have the best experiences with, and they made me nervous to attend LOROS as I thought it might be the same. However, here it is completely different from anywhere else.

When I first arrived at LOROS, it was my birthday, and they had a piece of cake and a card waiting for me- it was a really nice surprise. Also, the staff are specialists at cancer pain management, and since I’ve been here, I know there have been a few people who have died but I know they’ve died peacefully, not in pain.

My fear has always been that with cancer, you die slowly and painfully, but now I know from being at LOROS that I’m not going to die in pain at all. For someone who is terminal, that is a massive relief.

Now, I wake up every day and I’m just grateful to be alive. I’m taking each day as it comes, that’s all I can do. But knowing that I won’t suffer when my time comes - that brings me a lot of peace.

The care here is on a whole new level of humanity that I’ve never witnessed before. If you are dying, you want the assurance that you are in safe hands, and here you feel that, and I’m yet to meet anyone else here who would say much different. From the kitchen staff, to the nurses to the cleaners, everyone treats you with so much respect. LOROS is different to anywhere else. The staff will often stop what they’re doing, just to sit with you. When you’re dying, that’s what you need, as it can be a lonely time.

For anyone worried about coming to LOROS, I would say don’t. I can’t express how good the care here is, and the staff will honestly do anything for you. LOROS is not a place to fear but a place to embrace and make the most of what life you’ve got left in the most humane way possible. And for anyone thinking about supporting the organisation I would say DO IT! It’s the best place in the whole of Leicestershire- when the time comes I would happily die at LOROS.”

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