"Jacqui Beattie, age 51, had been living with cancer fora very long time. First diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 aged just 34, she had two mastectomies and thought she was in the clear until she was driving her young sons back from a day out at Thorpe Park in 2000 and her vision became blurred. She went to her optician and after undergoing tests there they told her to go straight to the hospital where a tumour was found behind her eye.
“Although I underwent lots of radiotherapy the cancer spread to my bones, in my hip and my spine. I had five cycles of chemotherapy and over the years I have also tried a trial drug but it wasn’t for me. I had an operation to encase my spine in metal but a year to the day I was actually at the In-Patient Unit for some respite last July when my legs started to go. My spinal cord had compressed and within a few days I was unable to walk.
In all this time Isabel Hospice has been there for me. They remind you to think about yourself. The staff and volunteers are so positive. I have never met such people, they have an aura about them; from the lady that cleans your room, to the cook that makes such delicious food, and the nurses that visit me at home. The loss of the use of my legs has really been the hardest thing for me. I am such an independent person and now we have had to move my bed downstairs and we are trying to plan how to adapt my bathroom access as I can’t get in there on my own in my wheelchair. Sometimes I think, is it worth it, as I’m not going to be around much longer. I try not to think about the future and live for the day, but with my two sons, one being severely autistic, I have to make plans. So, I have my funeral organised. I know who I want to speak at it, and I know the song I want. It inspires me and the words are very special.”
Jacqui died on 1st June 2015. Thank you to her family for giving us permission to share her story."