“When I came into the hospice I fell in love with the place.” - Kim Kilgour
*First Published in 2018
The Eden Valley Hospice Day Hospice is a wonderful facility that offers supportive care to people living with a life threatening or life limiting illness. The surroundings are very relaxed and comfortable, offering a choice of activities that are centred on wellbeing, companionship and support.
Earlier this year Kim Kilgour attended her final Day Hospice session after attending for over 18 months. Below Kim explains about her experiences at our Day Hospice:
“I didn’t see a way of getting through breast cancer, I felt so isolated. The treatment was the hardest thing I have done in my life. You can’t have many visitors due to your weak immune system during cancer treatment and you only have a small window of time to see people.
“Anne Harris from Macmillan told me that I needed to get out of the house. We didn’t get out of the house, I made my house into a prison. When I did get out it was always with my children and we went from front door to front door.
“I was terrified to come to the hospice; you associate the hospice with death and it’s not at all. When I came into the hospice I fell in love with the place, it was love on first sight – the ladies, the nurses and the place. I had no hair when I first came here, but a door opened to a new life. I came to the Day Hospice one day a week and keep in touch through Facebook; the kids were chuffed I was out of the house.
“The Day Hospice ladies are truly awesome. The nurses help me when I cried; it’s a safe place to cry. Before I was being strong for my children, who were my chemo buddies, because I am their Mam - the head of the house. You can tell the nurses anything. Everybody at Day Hospice has gone through what you are going through. It’s about supporting and loving each other, a truly unbelievable place.
“It broke my heart not to come back. I would like to say thank you to the ladies at the hospice. Some friends walked away when they found out about my diagnoses, but other people stepped up and never left my side. Everybody at the Day Hospice understood when something was not quite right, they understood when I stumbled and asked if I was okay.
“The Day Hospice is a family to me, it is an amazing family atmosphere. This place helped me to get up and made me feel human, as you can feel like you lose your identity with treatment. The Day Hospice almost saved my life, not medically but mentally.
“I like to wind people up, find people when they are down and make them laugh or smile; a smile never hurt anyone. When I first came to the hospice I wore a smile like a mask, but when I came here I didn’t have to wear it anymore. I really liked to include everybody in the Day Hospice. When you are having a crappy day it means a lot for people to laugh.”
Whilst attending the Day Hospice Kim hosted a tea party with her friend which raised a fantastic £1,600. The money raised was shared between Eden Valley Hospice, Cancer Research UK and Macmillan. Kim also took part in this year’s Cancer Research UK Race for Life. Her plan for the day was to walk with her daughter and also being pushed in her wheelchair around the route, but she planned to walk over the finish line.
Following her experiences in Day Hospice, Kim will also be joining the team of volunteers in our Day Hospice.
Each week the team of volunteers support the nurses, health care assistants and activity coordinators in providing care, support and activities for all the patients who attend the Day Hospice, Tuesday to Friday each week.