“We had to tell ourselves: that’s not my mum, that’s the tumour that’s taken over her. When she yelled, when she was cruel, it was the tumour, it wasn’t her.

I was shielded from so much, my dad, my sister, they saw how vicious that tumour could be. As for me, there reached a point where all I saw was a body in a hospice bed, someone so detached from the woman who I had once known, the woman who raised me.

She had once sang in the kitchen, combed the beach for sea-shells, held my sobbing heartbroken head, against her soft cashmere chest… But, in a time period that was both so-very-fast but also so-gut-wrenchingly-slow, the tumour ravaged her.”

“What would my grief have been like had her death been different? What if she’d been able to choose when, and where, she wanted to die?

In some ways, Dan Tuckley, was given that. In August 2022, he was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and, within weeks, his prognosis got worse. The type of cancer he had was Metastatic Renal Medullary Carcinoma, a rare and aggressive monster that ravages those affected with it devastatingly quickly. He was told he had weeks to live. Dan made the decision to go to Switzerland, a place where he would be released from his physical and emotional anguish, at time that was right, while he was still him.

Except, while he was granted that choice, he wasn’t. Not really. It came at a cost – a monetary and an emotional one. Travelling with incredibly ill people is difficult, even more so, when those travelling with him are fearful of the repercussions. Assisted dying is illegal in the UK, to the point that even those who travel to a country where it is legal (like Switzerland) face the risk of prosecution. Travelling also meant going sooner than he would have liked, without getting the chance to say goodbye to other loved ones.”

Read more in Crocuses in the snow.

Written by External Article
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  1. Thank you for sharing this powerful and heartfelt perspective on hospice care. As someone involved in hospice services, I resonate deeply with the idea that our primary goal is not about dying but about alleviating suffering and improving the quality of life. At Faith Hospice Care, we strive to create an environment where patients and their families feel supported, cared for, and understood. It’s stories like these that remind us of the profound impact compassionate care can have during such a vulnerable time. Let’s continue to advocate for a broader understanding and appreciation of hospice care, focusing on the dignity and comfort it brings to those in need.

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