"When you walk through the door you can leave everything behind"
I came to the hospice as a day patient in 2006 and was discharged in 2010, but the cancer came back so I've been coming again since 2012.
When you walk through the door you can leave everything behind. You don't have to worry about a thing because your physical, mental and spiritual needs are all met here. You can come in and just 'be'.
If you need to see a doctor, they phone up for you and get an appointment straight away – which is really something. We can talk honestly with our peers here because we're all going through something similar. What we discuss here we probably wouldn't discuss at home because it's a safe environment.
It's a safe haven where I can let my guard down and not be fearful. I know I'll meet with friends, sometimes we have a giggle, a quiz, a film, or play games. It's a beautiful setting where you can look at the sea and see the seasons change. It's something I look forward to in the week.
We're well fed – the kitchen makes wonderful meals, just the right size for people who can't eat plenty. Social workers help you fill in forms and sort out financial issues. If you have a family problem they sit and listen – or they come to your home to do that. Your pain levels are monitored and you can discuss your pain with a nurse or see a doctor.
It's just a wonderful safe haven to come to – nothing to fear. Nobody needs to be frightened of coming here, even as a patient in the wards because you're looked after so well.
Marie curie helped my husband too
Marie Curie also helped at home when my husband died. Alan came to the Marie Curie Hospice in Cardiff once as a day patient but then he wasn't strong enough to keep coming.
I got a Marie Curie carer overnight twice in the last two weeks of his life, which was so precious because it gave me time to rest and not worry for a little while so I could carry on.
It was just lovely – if dying can be lovely. The Marie Curie carer made it as comfortable as it could be for me and my daughter. She carried me that evening. I was really wilting and she gave me the strength to get through that night. She helped us make sure things were as he wanted. He was so frightened of dying that he had to be at home – I couldn't have sent him to hospital or a hospice. He wanted to be at home with everything familiar.
I do the Marie Curie lottery, give every month and put money in the tin when I come here because it's important to me that it carries on for other people. This place is about helping you live.
Our hospices offer expert care and support, in a friendly environment. Visit the hospice section of our website to get more information and find your local hospice.