Diagnosed with lung cancer nine years ago and having been with Rotorua Hospice for 18 months, Frances epitomises the hospice way of living every moment in whatever way is important to you.
“I try to be the best I am today. I have a motto…’who can I help today?’ I try to pass it on. Whether I’m meant to still be here, I don’t know. I think ‘who am I supposed to teach?’ That’s what hospice has done for me – giving me a helping hand when I needed it”.
Reflecting on the support Hospice has offered her, she holds back tears.
“The support of knowing they’re [clinical team] on hand. We can ring them up and it’s not a problem. They got a doctor to come home. We’ve never had a home visit. We didn’t even know we could do that.”
“The nurses are easy and comfortable to talk to… what’s the word I’m looking for… empathy. They take you as you are, they don’t judge you. Nothing seems to bother or faze them.”
Frances’ care is predominantly in her own home. She also comes to Rotorua Hospice every Wednesday to be part of Day Stay, an opportunity for patients to get together offering companionship, a support network and of course a cuppa tea.
In 2018, Frances is looking forward to celebrating her 28th wedding anniversary with husband and breast cancer survivor himself, Rob.