Becky's story

Grove House has been a haven for Becky Cummings since it was discovered that ten years after she was first diagnosed with cancer, it had returned. Becky was 22 when doctors first discovered she had bowel cancer and almost ten years later it was eventually confirmed that Becky had a very rare pancreatic cancer that had also spread to her liver.

Becky, who lives in St Albans with husband Calvin was quite poorly at this point. She knew she was ill, but did not know what to expect and it was then that her GP told her about Grove House:

“It took me a while to get my head around going to Grove House as I was worried that the day hospice would be like an elderly care home and depressing. It was actually neither.

“Grove House has helped me in so many ways. I go to the day hospice once a week on a Friday between 10 am and 3 pm. It relieves stress from my husband as he knows I am being cared for so he can relax knowing I am safe. He can go to work knowing I am going to be ok that day. It is also nice to go somewhere and not have to explain yourself and have your filters on worrying about what you say and how other people will react to it.

“When I go to Grove House to me it feels like coming home, it is so warm, the nurses, fabulous volunteers and fellow patients are like my family. At Grove House, I know I have all the help I could need. I have met amazing people and made life-long friends, I now have the most supportive network of people around me in both the professional and personal capacity”.

Becky says: “There is always an opportunity to discuss problems and how to overcome things that might have happened. Grove House is a safe place to go, you can talk about any concerns and they help you get the answers.”

Becky has also used the charity’s Hospice at Home Service. She says: “This service has been fabulous as it means I have had to spend less time in hospital. Hospice at Home also means that there is someone to help with any questions that you might have and someone who will visit and give practical help when you need it. You can even call them in the middle of the night; there is always someone at the end of the telephone and they will visit you no matter what time of day or night if you need it.”

Becky said: “At the moment I am doing really well. Who knows what the future holds, but I still have hope and I take each day as it comes. You can’t control the medical side of it, what will happen, will happen. You just have to choose how to deal with it. You are not cancer and can’t let it define you; you are still are a normal person doing normal things.

“Grove House has helped, in every way possible. They have helped to remove my fears for the future, allowing me to concentrate on the here and now. I'm just extremely lucky and grateful for where I am today, thanks to a huge team of people I have been given the gift of time.

“I would say to anyone who’s been diagnosed with cancer or another life-limiting illness to go to Grove House and give it a try.”

May 2014