How we can help Patient stories Phil's story Glynis and I met in the mid-1970s whilst working in the Civil Service. We had an office romance until I left to join the fire service in 1978. We married and lived in a terrace house in King’s Lynn, moving to another house in the 1980s before buying our current house in 1994 in South Wootton. We had an ordinary life but full life; working hard, spending time doing our home up, spending time with family and friends and holidaying lots. We enjoyed all sorts of holidays – walking, cruising, and camping. Our best was a cruise around the Fjords. Glynis enjoyed working in the Civil Service and made lots of friends through her work there. I still see them regularly now. She had a tough job on the reception desk in the jobcentre but enjoyed it. She was given a redundancy package which allowed us both to retire early enabling us to spend ten years together in retirement. Life changed in September 2015 when Glynis started getting symptoms. It only took a couple of weeks to get a diagnosis that she had a brain tumour. On 23rd October she had an operation at Addenbrooke’s. The operation stopped the symptoms that she had been experiencing, however, tests showed that the tumour was stage four and we were told that she had between five and eight months to live. We decided to fight and started a course of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. It was an exhausting nightmare travelling to Cambridge for treatment as well as the constant trips to the local hospital for blood tests and transfusions. It held the cancer at bay though, although the chemotherapy had to be stopped earlier than planned because of a reaction to it. We tried again in the spring of 2016 but it didn’t work and from then Glynis experienced a gradual deterioration. We carried on as normal, still going to see friends and out for meals as much as possible. We had a great support network to help us. My two sisters, neighbours and our friends all helped out so much. We also had a Macmillan Nurse from May 2016. She helped us to claim benefits and steered us on course. By the end of October Glynis could no longer shower. She opted to be cared for at home, which was made possible thanks to the Hospice at Home team. They came from early November and were absolute heroes. They did a really good job caring for her and supporting me. Without the guidance they gave me I would have been completely blown out of the water. I don’t think you can get this level of expertise anywhere else. They never left until everything was positive and were so knowledgeable about everything. Towards the end, they knew and helped me to prepare. Glynis died on 20th January 2017. The district nurse came in the night she died and the Hospice at Home team came to see me the next day. The support didn’t end there though. I was offered bereavement support and saw Joanna first and then Jenny for several weeks. Jenny helped me to make a memory box which contains lots of good memories. I still attend some of the services that the bereavement team provide – the monthly walks at Sandringham and the coffee mornings. The support we have received is quite incredible, especially considering that this is a charity. I can’t fault anything. I would have been totally lost without the Hospice. Glynis was a kind person, always thinking of others. She was the love of my life and leaves a big gap. Thanks to Tapping House I know I did the best for her.