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Interview 23

Age at interview: 76
Age at diagnosis: 74
Brief Outline: Breast cancer diagnosed in 2001, followed by a mastectomy, radiotherapy and chemotherapy
Background: Housewife, widow, 4 children

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She can have her hair done while at the hospice or have reflexology or do crafts, or simply sit...

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She can have her hair done while at the hospice or have reflexology or do crafts, or simply sit...

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What about the hospice that you go to and what you do there?

Well, yes. We have reflexology. 

We do crafts and what have you, whatever we like to do or we sit and sleep and we have our nails done and have our hair done if we need it. But I did have it done at the hair... at the...[hairdressers] when my daughter in law had a baby because she was off two or three weeks, and so they done it at the hospice but now she's back to doing it now and I like her to do it because if I'm not well enough to go to the hospice the next day I don't get it done. 

So what they do now they titivate it about, and she washes it and rolls it up and then leaves me, and then I can just take the rollers out. So when I get to the hospice they... we laugh and say, "Come and be titivated today". 
 

 

Staff and patients have helped her to come to terms with illness and with death.

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Staff and patients have helped her to come to terms with illness and with death.

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Would you say a bit more about how you come to terms with it and accept it? Because some people have difficulty with that.

Yeah

Would you like, would you like to talk about it?

Well I don't know. I can't really describe how I come to terms with it. I think going to the hospice helped me. I think going to the hospice helped me to come to terms with it. They talk to you and you see so many people in the same boat that they've all got the same thing and we all help such a lot that I think that does help you. 

You're not alone. You know that there's some people off a lot worse than what you are. I mean there are some people a lot iller. I mean there's several patients have died since I've been going there but I think that is a hospice what gives you the strength to come to terms with that sort of thing.
 

 

Describes her stabbing pain.

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Describes her stabbing pain.

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I don't take as many pain killers as they'd like me to because as I say I get a stabbing pain. They say I should take pain killers all the while to keep it under control but my message is that if I take pain killers all the while I don't know whether that's the pain killers stopping it or whether that's just the thingamabob...   don't get a lot of pain. Some days there's a more stabbing than others. Just as if somebody has got a little knife. Like that in them.

It's a stabbing pain?

Yes. A stabbing pain.
 

 

She would prefer to die in the hospice, where she had experienced good care, love, and laughter.

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She would prefer to die in the hospice, where she had experienced good care, love, and laughter.

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If you had a choice between going into hospital, going into the bedded unit at the hospice or staying at home and being looked after at home, what would you like best?

Well I think I'd like to go to the hospice really. Yes. I think that would be more convenient for everybody and myself. They're so good there.. They don't fuss you lots, but they see to everything you need. And  we all have so much laughing and you know that's, that's half of the battle isn't it?

Yes oh it is yes.

Yes we all have a laugh and I mean we're all in the same boat and we always find something to laugh about..

It sounds like a lovely atmosphere.

Yes it is a lovely atmosphere, nobody can describe, nobody can describe it until they've been there.
 

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