“I remember thinking to myself that’s it, you’re going to come out in a box. Because I had no other experience of a hospice other than associating it with death and sadness.
"The doctor at the hospital told me they aren’t like that now and that they can really help with pain management and comfort. I was eventually convinced to go and my perceptions changed straight away.
"They don’t just treat cancer, it’s much more than that and like mine, conditions can be very complex. Nurses and doctors were great at explaining everything to us. I was invited to the day therapies group after being discharged and came back every Tuesday. I’ve done gardening, and my wife and I have had massages and talk regularly with the social worker. The therapy dogs are brilliant too, when they come in it lights up people’s lives. I’ve made really good friends and meet up with them regularly.
"It’s hard to put into words what it’s done for me, the support and the people are just unreal. It’s made me feel easier about what’s round the corner, I’d say the whole team are my angels. It’s easy to talk to everyone but not just that, I’m listened to.
"I think back at my first thoughts and how wrong they were and if anyone else was feeling that way or scared about what to expect I’d tell them don’t be daft, get in there!”
I didn’t for one minute think the kind of support I’ve had would ever be in place. People know about the care for patients, but nobody realises what’s available to the people left behind