“I was diagnosed with prostate cancer two and a half years ago. It’s a frightening thing to be told. Cancer is a horrible word. When I was diagnosed, I actually thought, ‘That’s it. That’s the end of my world.’ I was given some leaflets but I couldn’t take it in.”
Michael Sedgwick, a day patient at Wakefield Hospice
Wakefield Hospice
Michael said, “You can go through hell during treatment, and all that time you wonder if it’s working.  I had treatment for the cancer and prostate problems at St James’ Hospital in Leeds and had a rough patch afterwards with very painful burns from laser treatment and radiotherapy.” 

“Someone at Age UK asked if I was interested in coming to the Day Therapy Unit at Wakefield Hospice, so I came to have a look, that was just before Christmas 2014.” 

“There are all sorts of options here: art, drawing, craft work, music. The first day I came, the hospice staff asked if I wanted to take part in an art session, but I ended up trying music therapy - I didn’t expect to be learning to play the drums at 68, but that’s what I’ve done! George, the Hospice’s music therapist, taught me to play. It’s a different context, it takes you into another world. George and I talk about lots of things when we’re in the music room playing the drums. He’s a brilliant fellow, he puts your mind at ease.” 

“Cancer is a lonely place, but you don’t feel excluded at Wakefield Hospice. Coming to the Day Therapy Unit took a lot of pressure off me. It was the fact that somebody cared. You also meet people in the same situation. I’ve met a lot of new, very good friends. We’re all in the same boat and we help one another, that’s what it’s all about. If they ask, ‘How are you?’  they want to know.” 

“When you have cancer, it feels like there are thousands of people helping you but when you’re alone in your house, it’s the first thing you think of at night and the first thing in the morning.” 

“I’ve had a lot of other health problems – most recently, breathing problems and pain from some blood clots on my lungs which are possibly related to the hormone treatment for my prostate cancer.”  

“Coming here has given me a new outlook. I’ve even tried Reiki with the Hospice’s complementary therapist. I was a bit sceptical, but it actually works. She also gave me a tape which I put on at home. For years I’ve never felt relaxed, and it’s only since I’ve come here that I’ve learnt to relax.” 

“The staff and volunteers at the Hospice are brilliant. They’ve seen and heard it all before, and they’re willing to listen – nothing’s too big a problem. I was nervous when I came here, I didn’t know what to expect, but I’ve really felt the benefits.”

What does hospice care mean to you?