When Colin was diagnosed with incurable pancreatic cancer in Autumn 2021, staying at home – surrounded by the people, places and peace he loved – was paramount.
His wife Elspeth, explains how Rennie Grove helped make that possible.
Colin wanted to be at home and die at home – that was very important to him. Despite the prognosis, he was determined to try everything. he lived for another year and four months after his diagnosis, passing away peacefully at home as he’d hoped.
I remember when the Hospice at Home nurses first visited us, they made arrangements for ‘anticipatory medicine’. This, they explained, was so they could treat any symptoms quickly, when the time came, which would help Colin stay at home in safety and comfort.
The Rennie Grove nurses are so well qualified – able to administer strong painkillers. They are very, very professional, but also genuinely kind. You could tell this was more than a job to them – you could tell they really cared.
The nurses managed to keep Colin very comfortable. He was never, to my knowledge, in any pain. He had a syringe driver towards the end, and he slept peacefully for the last few days.
I remember hearing his breathing change. At that very moment, the phone rang, and it was a Rennie Grove nurse. She asked after Colin, and I explained his breathing had just changed. She said her colleagues were already on their way – they must have known the end was very close. They’d visited the day before and had been visiting more and more regularly over the last few days – sometimes two or three times a day.
"I'm very glad Colin was able to stay at home, where he felt most at peace, right to the end."
Colin quietly passed away – it was a very peaceful ending. Not long afterwards, I met the nurses in the driveway. They gave me a hug, came in and took over. Washing and dressing Colin, making the necessary phone calls. I’ll forever be grateful. That hug meant the world to me at that moment.
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Help fund specialist care for families in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire when you donate to Rennie Grove Peace.