Katherine Baxter is back on her feet and mobile again, all thanks to a walking aid and the help of the physiotherapy and occupational therapy team at The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice.
After treatment for breast cancer she got the all clear, only to be told two months later that she now had cancer in her spine.
“The prognosis for me was three to eight weeks - that was nearly 10 months ago,” smiles Katherine.
“We keep laughing that I’m a miracle of science. When I went for my scans last time they were clear.
“It was scary to start with because you’re planning things like your funeral then all of a sudden someone tells you there’s a flip side to the coin.”
Katherine is a day services patient, coming into the hospice every Wednesday, initially to get physio, now to take part in activities with other day services patients.
“I’d been in the house for five months before I came to the hospice, so it was really good to get back out again.
“The hospice has just been phenomenal for me, mostly because of the physiotherapy. I had nothing at all when I was sent home from hospital. The rehab team in the hospice have worked with me and I’ve gone from being in a wheelchair to being able to do all my personal care myself and I’m walking with a zimmer. It’s been a total change for me.
“They came out to the house and assessed me and got everything in place really quickly. I have great confidence in them and when they tell me I can do something I think, ‘I can do this.’
“The encouragement has been phenomenal, they’re an awesome team.
“They have put everything in the bathroom I need, they’ve put a seat in the shower, ramps at the front door, grab handles wherever I need them. The help and encouragement has been really good. It has totally changed my life.
“I had to move in with my daughter. Before I was stuck in if my daughter wasn’t there but now I can get myself out.
“If it wasn’t for the rehab team from the hospice, from physio and occupational health to the rehab assistant, I’d still be in bed doing nothing because there isn’t a lot of help out there for you.”
She adds: “The hospice team has been great supporting me. Sometimes my daughter has so much going on, I don’t want to overload her with anything else. I can come into the hospice and offload to the girls. They have advice and answers for me, and that’s the kind of support I need.
“The whole team in the hospice has totally helped me through this. All this has really opened my mind to what the hospice does. It’s amazing what they do for people.”