‘It was like a weight off my shoulders’
WHEN Louise Buffin first met her Hospice nurse she said it was like ‘meeting another member of the family’.
Louise, who is 39, was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in December 2015, and she was referred by her GP to the Hospice of the Valleys last summer.
From the start, senior clinical nurse specialist Kim Jones was her nurse, and she has been supporting Louise through her recent chemotherapy treatment.
‘As soon as I met Kim, I knew that she understood everything – the pain that I was in and the help that I needed,’ says Louise.
‘She went through pain management with me, and also arranged for me to have some reflexology sessions with a therapist and also to speak to the welfare rights advisor – she arranged for me to have a blue badge and did all the paperwork.’
Louise, who lives in Ebbw Vale, says everything was ‘so confusing’ when she became unwell, with conflicting advice being offered from many directions.
‘The Hospice had all the information that I needed, coming from one place,’ she says.
‘Having Kim there was like having another member of my family, only with all the specialist knowledge that I needed. It was like a weight off my shoulders – it was good to have someone who would listen and it made everything so much easier.
‘My GP was great, but Kim just understood everything straight away.’
Kim, who has worked for the hospice for 16 years, added: ‘Hospice nurses often step in to a family at a time when life is very dark, and we try to switch on a light to help show them the way.’
Louise found it emotionally difficult and physically very painful when she started to lose her hair after chemotherapy, and decided to have it cut short before it fell out.
At that stage, she decided to set up a fundraising justgiving page online, so that family and friends could sponsor her in aid of the Hospice when she shaved her hair.
‘I put on a target of £250 but before I knew it, there was more than £2,100 on there – I have really generous family and friends!’