Ron Swift was sceptical when his friend Karl suggested he come to St Luke’s for complementary therapy. Ron had gone through chemotherapy and radiation therapy for prostate cancer at Christie Hospital and was stressed and worried about the future. Karl, who is the Housekeeping Supervisor at St Luke’s, had seen first-hand just how many people our complementary therapists have been able to help. He convinced Ron to at least speak with Pauline Burdsall, the Complementary Therapy Coordinator.
“I spoke with Pauline and she told me that I was coming in, no ifs or buts about it,” Ron remembered. “I came in expecting to get a massage, but was told that I would be given a course of reflexology as this was the safest and most effective therapy for me. I didn’t see how someone rubbing my feet could make me feel better.”
Ron said that he was curious, but concerned, when he considered coming to a hospice. “I expected to see awful sights, but it is marvellous here. I could not have been treated better. Everyone I talked to really cared. When I tell people about the reflexology, lots of them say ‘no one is touching my feet!’ but I tell them it’s not like that, it’s not ticklish at all. The first reflexology session relaxed me so much that I said I’d take anything that was offered. I’ve since had Reiki and seen the hypnotherapist.”
I asked Ron how coming to St Luke’s had affected him.
“After four sessions of reflexology I joined a group of people in a similar position to myself, which is something that I would never have seen myself doing before, but now I feel relaxed with it all. After my allocated reflexology sessions, they suggested that I see Fraser White, the Hospice hypnotherapist. He asked me how he could help and I explained that I wanted to live a normal life on a level plane and he has helped me do that. My outlook on life has changed completely. Sometimes I feel like I’m sitting on top of the world, even though I am undergoing chemotherapy at this present time. People shouldn’t be afraid of the word ‘hospice’. People should come here by the busloads, it’s that good.”
“The standard of nursing here is excellent. Everyone greets you, everyone is so friendly – they have all day for you if you need it. I’m seeing Fraser today and that will help me relax and get me through my chemotherapy at Christie tomorrow.”
“I want to thank everyone at St Luke’s. I wouldn’t be where I am now without them. Some people just give up and I could have been one of them, but St Luke’s has helped me through.”
I asked Ron what he would say to anyone worried about coming in to St Luke’s.
“Come and get it, you’re missing out. It’s a wonderful place to be!”