Jan and Robbie were cared for at Katharine House in many different ways over the course of two years following Jan's diagnosis of breast cancer. Here Robbie shares their story with us in this 3-minute video, which is also transcribed below.

“Katharine House was there for Jan and I from the beginning for about two years. Jan was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2017 and not long after the doctors discovered that it had spread to her bones and was incurable and they told us about Katharine House. I knew of Katharine House - I had been here before as a kid - and it’s obviously well known and well loved in our community. 

Hearing the word ‘hospice’ in your thirties is obviously very scary and seemed very final, but very quickly we realised that Katharine House would become a place of support and reassurance for both of us.

Over the two years, Katharine House gave us both a huge amount of support. They looked after all of Jan’s symptoms and all the horrible side effects that come with cancer treatment. But she also came here for lighter stuff too. She came here for stress relief using acupuncture (something I never thought she’d do); she came here for specialist cancer massages, which she really enjoyed. I came here for bereavement support.

Katharine House was just there behind the scenes for us whenever we needed it. They helped Jan get her painkiller medication right down, for example, so that we could travel to America to see her family for Christmas, which was really special. And she went on holidays many times that year afterwards because of their help, which was, you know, really important.

Of course, Katharine House was there for Jan and I in the end. We were given the option of being at home but Jan wanted to come to Katharine House when a bed was available. Her room was amazing and huge and we had all the space and privacy that we needed. We never felt at any time that we had too many people there. She had lots of family flying in and lots of friends coming to see her and we never felt like we were too much of an imposition for Katharine House. They did everything they could. They gave us the space we needed but they also helped Jan make the right decisions; the decisions that she wanted.

"Her room was amazing and huge and we had all the space and privacy that we needed. We never felt at any time that we had too many people there."

On one of her last nights she had lots of her friends and her sisters around for a night of champagne, pizza and fancy dress and lots of laughter. Not something you often hear about a hospice. So that’s what Katharine House is all about.”

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Katharine House Hospice