In the mid 1990s Anne Roberts was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, much to the shock of her family and friends. After living with the disease for about four years Anne died at home, on March 10, 1999, at around 5 am, with her husband, Maurice, by her side.
Here Maurice explains how the Iain Rennie Hospice at Home nurses helped.
Maurice says: “Anne was never ill and rarely visited the doctor. One Friday afternoon, I realised that she was taking paracetamol more frequently than usual so I managed to get her the last appointment with our doctor and persuaded her to go along.
“She went for the appointment, and thankfully our doctor decided to send her to Stoke Mandeville Hospital, and that same evening she was operated on, having been diagnosed with ovarian cancer.
The surgeon said we were lucky that the cancer was diagnosed early, as Anne recovered well, and after chemotherapy she was back to her cheerful self.
“There were many times that I thought they must have got the diagnosis wrong as she was so well, it seemed unbelievable that she had cancer.
“Anne was able to go to America to visit our daughter, Charlotte, in December 1998, and they went on a road trip, I think they thought they were Thelma and Louise!!. Sadly, halfway through the trip, Charlotte sent Anne home from San Diego, California, as she was unwell. Further visits to Stoke Mandeville and The John Radcliffe at Oxford, followed.
“Anne was able to spend the last two weeks of her life at home and was helped by the Iain Rennie, Hospice at Home team, who would visit to help with pain relief and make sure she was comfortable. They were truly wonderful, and I am forever grateful for their support.
“Anne died in my arms on March 10 1999 in the early hours of the morning. It was very peaceful and I was glad we were together at home.”