73yr old Eileen Fieldsend, who grew up in Long Eaton, is determined not to let her diagnosis stop her from achieving some of her life-long dreams as she explained:
There’s things I’ve always wanted to do
“I was diagnosed with cancer last August and received a new immunotherapy drug, so have maybe a year or longer.
“There’s things I’ve always wanted to do but either I’ve never had the money to do it, or my late husband Ken didn’t want to do it, so my girls said ‘what’s on your bucket list’?”
“First of all I want to do a parachute jump. I want to go to the Eden Project and I want to have a flight in a helicopter – and all three are booked! The parachute jump is from 10,000 feet and I’m doing it on 26th March.”
You stay positive and do what you want to do
“The way I look at it, I’m not going to get much longer and I’ve got nothing to lose. I’ve got to make the most of it.
“All three of my girls say I’m stubborn so if I want to do something then I’ll do it but now I’ve been diagnosed then I’m definitely going to do it. You stay positive and do what you want to do. I don’t feel ill and no symptoms of being ill apart from losing weight so I’m finding it difficult to accept the fact that yes, I’ve got cancer.”
The help was absolutely fantastic
Eileen first heard about Treetops Hospice Care when her husband, Ken, received support from the Hospice at Home nurses at night:
“The help was absolutely fantastic. I was feeling so tired and down by that point and Ken just wanted me all the time. I was able to go to bed with the nurse looking after him. The first time that the nurse came I said goodnight and I was sure I wouldn’t sleep but my head hit the pillow and I was gone.”
“When Ken passed away in 2016 I wanted something to do and my granddaughter saw that Treetops were opening a shop in Oakwood so I went and started volunteering there. I’ve been there for over a year now. I volunteer twice a week and love going. The shop team are fantastic – the managers and the volunteers.
There’s not words to say how Treetops has helped me
Eileen enjoys coming to the Treetops Day Care Unit based in Risley:
“There’s not words to say how Treetops has helped me. I started coming here just before Christmas and it is lovely. The staff and volunteers can’t do enough for you. We can talk about anything here because we have that it common. You’re not frightened of saying you’ve got cancer because they have something that’s life-threatening too.
“I do the crafts and last week was brilliant when we could hold some exotic animals – meerkats, a tarantula, an albino skunk a snake and iguana. I’ve not done anything like that before. I meet people, have a chat, have lunch and the atmosphere is lovely. I love coming here each week.
There’s only one more thing on Eileen’s Bucket List that she doubts she’ll achieve:
“The one thing I really, really, really want to do is swim with dolphins but I can’t. The added travel insurance because of my illness would be astronomical and my passport has run out and that’s expensive so I gave up that idea.”
Eileen has already raised over £900 for her parachute jump, smashing her original target and is keen to raise more for Treetops. Those interested in donating can do so via her Just Giving page.
Treetops Hospice Care services include Support and Information, a Day Care Unit, Hospice at Home nurses and Therapeutic Services including counselling, art therapy and complementary therapy.