Woman smiling sitting in chair at Treetops Hospice

Tracey is living with terminal bowel cancer. She is sharing her experience of the wellbeing support she receives at Treetops, and the difference it makes.

In January 2020, Tracey had diarrhoea and noticed some blood in her poo. She had no other symptoms.
"I was sent for a colonoscopy, and as soon as the camera went up my bottom, you could see the tumour.

In the back of my mind, I knew I was going to be terminal

I saw a surgeon a couple of weeks later. He said unfortunately we can't remove the tumour because you've got METS in your lungs, liver and there's something on your kidneys we're not sure about.
In the back of my mind, I knew I was going to be terminal. I’ve never been upset about that, it’s matter of fact with me.

I’m prepared for what’s going to happen to me

There’s a lot of denial. People often say to me ‘you look really well’ or ‘you’re going to be alright; you’ll fight this’. But I’ve been given a terminal diagnosis so it’s not going to end well or end the way I want it to end. Some people tell me I’m brave which frustrates me. I’m not brave at all. I’m dealing with what life’s throwing at me and I’d rather not be dealing with it. Sometimes I just want to pretend it’s not happening. But I’ve got the benefit of being able to deal with this. I’m prepared for what’s going to happen to me.
I'd heard about Treetops but initially thought, 'I don’t want to go there. It will be full of people dying'. I thought it would be clinical and all doom and gloom. But it’s not. It’s how you want it to be.
In the end, I came. My appointment was for an hour and nearly three hours later, I was still here talking to Julie.

There’s something about this place. It gives me a boost

The atmosphere was so calm and relaxing and I really enjoyed myself.  There’s something about this place. Every time I come here, it doesn’t matter how I’m feeling, I go away feeling better. It gives me a boost, like recharging me and building up my positivity. 

The word 'hospice' does scare you a little bit but actually when you come here, you see it’s not that at all.
For me, I had been told I had so little time, I didn’t want to waste it on something I wasn’t sure about. But I’m so glad I came.

Personalised wellbeing support

There’s a lot of understanding and no judgement at Treetops. You don’t have to come and explain what’s wrong with you. They understand, which is very refreshing. This is more about my mental health and  wellbeing, making me feel better – and finding ways to do that. And it works for me. It’s personalised and geared around what you want to get out of it. It’s about you. And at your pace. For me, it’s all benefit. You’re made to feel special.
I was so reluctant to come here and I regret not coming sooner.
Whenever I go for my chemotherapy, the unit has got this smell and I dread going there. There’s nothing I enjoy about that place. And that’s why I think about Treetops when I go there. I wish I could bottle this up and put it there."

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