In September 2009 Jasmine was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer which was a huge shock at the young age of 31. Jasmine went through various scans, treatment and gruelling radiotherapy and in December with her treatment complete returned to work. Sadly in February 2010 Jasmine was told that the treatment hadn’t been successful and she was referred for major pelvic surgery. Jasmine recovered really well from the operation in March and by July she was building up her strength to return to work for a few hours a week and trying to get her life back to normality by doing those things which she loved like going to the gym and ice skating.
All of Jasmine’s close family live aboard and in October 2010 Jasmine was feeling well enough to take a trip to Canada to visit her father and brother for his 30th birthday. Sadly during this trip Jasmine was in a huge amount of pain and on her return to the UK went for further tests which showed her nerve endings were damaged and she had further complications in her pelvis. It was at this time Jasmine started to see Dr Jane Bywater St. Michael’s Hospice Palliative Care Consultant.
Dr Bywater worked with Jasmine on her drug combination to help manage her pain and also arranged for Jasmine to come in to the Hospice for Complementary Therapy and Day Care. “I knew the Hospice existed but I didn’t know what they offered, at the end of January I was at home on my own the whole time and my mood was so up and down, I desperately needed to find a group that I could meet with on a regular basis to get me out of the flat. Dr Bywater suggested that I come to Day Care and when I first thought about the Hospice I was very apprehensive as I thought that this is where people went at the end. Now I know how wrong I was! At Day Care I have a chance to speak to others in my situation and most importantly I have one day a week when I know I will be out of my flat and interacting with people”.
As Jasmines pain was so bad she also became an In-Patient for a few days to have a blood transfusion and her pain monitored and managed. “Everyone is so nice here, all the nurses and volunteers have really looked after me, the place is lovely and the rooms brilliant, nothing like a hospital ward. Since being on the In-Patient Unit I have had the most delicious food, had my hair done and most importantly had my medication managed so well that I even made it through a whole night’s sleep without pain. I need to go back into Hospital for further investigation in my pelvis and hope that I will be able to come back to the Hospice for a few days after that to recuperate”.
The Hospice team has also helped Jasmine contact Social Services for support at home together with the Occupation Therapist providing equipment to make life easier for Jasmine. “The Hospice has made a huge difference to my pain and quality of life, I’m so grateful for all the fantastic support I have received. Going home is not so daunting knowing I have more support and will be coming into the Hospice for Day Care each week.”