Marlyn Monaghan says it was only when she was referred to The Prince & Princess of Wales Hospice that she really understood about its work.
“It’s all about living, rather than about dying,” says the day services patient who has twice had breast cancer and now has cancer in her spine.
Marlyn comes to the hospice once a week and as well as seeing nursing staff and meeting other patients, she spends time in the art room.
“I really enjoy the art room, art was something I did at school and have done very seldom since. Now I’m really loving it,” she says.
“I just get lost in what I’m doing for a couple of hours and have absolutely nothing else in my head.
Every six weeks, Marlyn meets up with one of the hospice’s nurses.
“She always asks if there is anything else I would like to take advantage of in the hospice, and how I’m feeling. That’s good because although I have family and they’re great, sometimes a lot of people don’t have that. I’m fortunate that I do. I have my sister and my niece, but a lot of people are on their own. I think the hospice is a great outlet.
“It’s good to talk to someone who knows what you’re going through.”
As well as using the art room, Marlyn has had complementary therapies.
“I think people would be very pleasantly surprised by what goes on in the hospice,” she says. “It’s a great experience - for patients and for relatives.
“Your attitude helps too, it’s not easy to put a face on all the time. But when you’re at the hospice, it’s taken for granted there is something wrong with you and if you don’t feel well, you don’t feel well. I’m really glad I was referred to the hospice.”