The 10th June marks the start of Carers Week. Pamela Potter’s husband Dave was cared for at the Rowans. Pamela wants to share her story to show the care and support Rowans has given her, as Dave’s wife and Carer.
“On the 17th February 2018 Dave died peacefully in the Rowans Hospice in Purbrook. He was surrounded by all his family. He was very comfortable and very peaceful. If a death can be good, Dave’s was. Obviously I didn’t come away happy but I came away thinking, that’s how it should be, that’s exactly how it should be.
Dave was diagnosed with terminal bladder cancer in October 2017. When they told him that there was no more that they could do he was reeling. We were referred to the Rowans Hospice. Initially due to preconceptions of what a hospice would be like, we were hesitant. However it was not at all what we expected, it really is a wonderful place. It was on our first visit that we met Dr Matt Curtis who assessed Dave and made him feel at ease, his replies to all of Dave’s questions were calm and not frightening. I felt comforted from that moment knowing he was going to be well cared for.
I attended the Carers Group at the Living Well Centre once a month and this was extremely helpful and comforting. As Carers, we are all in the same position, we all feel bad when we get cross because we are tired. Talking to one another we all understood each other and we frequently would be saying “yes, I know exactly what you mean”. Through the group you realise you are allowed to feel like that and it doesn’t make you a bad person. It was an amazing group.
I cannot emphasise enough how supportive the staff have been to me and my family.
Dave died four months later and I was then was referred on to the Bereavement Group at the Living Well centre and from that day forward I have been supported in every way possible by the staff at the Living Well Centre. I cannot emphasise enough how supportive the staff have been to me and my family. You never come in here and think “oh they’re busy, they haven’t got time for me”. Somebody has always got time for you. I now feel when I come into the Living Well Centre that I am home and it’s really amazing. You really won’t get a bigger fan than me.
When I felt I couldn’t cope with the grief, I was I was referred to a Psychologist Dr Stephanie Jones and have been receiving counselling with her for eight sessions. In that time I have experience every emotion possible and she has given me the capability and the tools to put myself in the positive position I find myself today. I am now living in the ‘here and now’ and able to share my experience with others.
I have benefited from Mindfulness, Group Therapy and more recently the Cookery Classes. I was reluctant to do cookery, as I have always been happiest putting things in the microwave. Taking part in the cookery classes has been one of the best thing I have done because it has changed my view about everything, I even shop for ingredients and more importantly we all look forward to it. It isn’t just the cooking, it’s the camaraderie of us all. When I am ready I would like very much to become a Volunteer and give something back to the Rowans.”
“My journey has been a sad one with lots of peaks and troughs but has a positive ending. Rowans has helped to bring me back to life again and given me purpose and reason to carry on and enjoy life which is what Dave would have wanted for me. When I walk through the Living Well doors. I feel enveloped with care, compassion and love second to none.”