Prince and Princess of Wales Hospice

 Bill and Cathie Darroch

Bill Darroch was a patient at the hospice, and his wife Cathie received counselling 

Fit and healthy, while happily enjoying his retirement after a career as a sales rep, Bill Darroch took his first cancer diagnosis in his stride, even when he had to have surgery to remove a kidney.

Then a year later it returned, this time near his bladder, and after undergoing chemotherapy Bill started to find life hard to cope with.

“It was depression, I was tired of living, but scared of dying,” he admits.

“It really brought me down and that’s why we started going to the hospice after the doctor referred me.”

Bill, 76, from Croftfoot, and his wife Cathie, both received counselling at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice, as well as complementary therapies including aromatherapy and acupuncture to ease the pains Bill was experiencing in his back.

When he first heard about the hospice, Bill says he wasn’t keen to visit.

“Everyone thinks that way. You think a hospice is the last resort, and it’s classed as that sadly but it’s really not.

"It’s there to help you and it certainly helped us.

“I had reservations before I went for the first time.

“Once you go you understand what it’s all about and how these people can help you and you can’t thank them enough for all they do for you.”

Bill was a day services patient for two years, in that time he and Cathie would usually visit the hospice twice a week.

“I don’t think we could have managed without the hospice. I was really down. Cancer is scary, especially when you get it a second time,” says Bill.

“If it hadn’t been for the hospice, I don’t know what would have happened. It helps the family as well. It’s not just there for the person who is ill.”

Cathie says receiving counselling from the hospice’s family support team made a massive difference to how she and Bill faced his treatment and recovery together.

“It definitely helped us because when Bill was down I was down, and when I was down so was our son Colin.

“I remember one day we came home from the hospice and I said, ‘I really feel great, I feel like a different person.’

“It really helped to be able to share our experiences with other people at the hospice. I know Bill felt scared when he first went to the hospice but I didn’t. It was a relief, I was going somewhere to get help.”

Bill sums up the common misconception about hospice care.

“Everybody says the hospice is the last stop before the terminus. It taught me how to live, not how to die,” he says.

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