A WOMAN from Llangollen who has been living with her cancer diagnosis since the year 2000 has embraced the services on offer at her local hospice.
Pauline Edwards, lives with Medullary thyroid cancer and for the past 10 years has managed to keep her condition stable, allowing her to live a wellness journey with the help of a variety of arts, crafts and well-being courses at Nightingale House Hospice, in Wrexham.
When depression struck Pauline Edwards during the pandemic little did she know it would open up an entire new world of help and support to bring much needed sunshine and fun into her life.
Eager to help her, District Nurses from Llangollen, near to where she lives suggested she accessed services at Nightingale House.
Pauline recently completed the hospice’s Positive Action Programme (PAP) – a six week health and wellbeing course.
Pauline said: “When they mentioned the word hospice I immediately reacted like so many other people do – ‘that’s where you go to die’. I couldn’t believe that such a place existed to help people like me to manage our illness and enhance our lives. It was a real eye-opener.”
Although she was nervous about going to the hospice Pauline says she was bowled over by the warm reception she received from the minute she entered the building.
She said: “I honestly didn’t know that I could go to Nightingale House and have all these wonderful treatments. I started with six sessions of aromatherapy and slowly, just as the District Nurses wanted, I began to socialise and emerge from my depression.”
Pauline has since completed the hospice’s bespoke Positive Action Programme (PAP) led by Occupational Therapist Clare Williams, joined a 10 week Art Therapy course and following physiotherapy is now able to walk without a stick.
“The PAP programme was so much fun and Clare lifted everybody’s spirits. We were able to speak freely without fear of upsetting loved ones but in a light-hearted and cheerful environment. Nightingale House really does help you live well.”
Clare Williams, Occupational Therapist said: “The Positive Action Programme has gone from strength to strength since we launched it in 2020.
“It was designed to provide participants with tools and strategies to self- manage their condition. However, the feedback demonstrates that it has provided much more than this. Participants have shared that attending the programme lifts their spirits and gives them hope.
“It provides a safe place for them to discuss their thoughts and feelings about their illness; something that they often feel unable to share with their loved ones for fear of worrying or upsetting them. During the programme, participants develop a sense of control over their difficulties which has a positive effect on their quality of life. I feel privileged to spend time with such inspiring people.”
If you or a loved-one is dealing with a life-limiting illness such as cancer or a neurological illness you can contact the Confidential Clinical Admissions Helpline on 01978 316806 between 8am – 4pm weekdays (out of hours ring 01978 316800), without the need to speak to a GP or Nurse Practitioner first. You will be connected to a hospice specialist who will be able to speak to you in confidence and help with symptoms, advise you about the free services on offer at Nightingale House.
Picture Caption: Nightingale House patient Pauline Edwards of Llangollen.