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Visit the Pulsa Gas website to find out more
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How Phyllis Tuckwell Helped Julie Lodge

4 minute read
How Phyllis Tuckwell Helped Julie Lodge

Published at 10:29am 22nd May 2019.

“As soon as I got here, I felt safe,” said Julie.

Julie Lodge was referred to Phyllis Tuckwell after being diagnosed with breast cancer.

“Mum had chemotherapy and a lumpectomy, followed by radiotherapy,” said her daughter Claire. “We thought she was in remission, but it came back again really quickly.”

The cancer progressed to Julie’s bones, hitting her spine badly and causing a fracture, but surgeons operated and Julie was able to walk again. To help her recover from the operation and cope with the progression of the cancer, she was referred to Phyllis Tuckwell, and she and her husband Andrew were visited at home by a PTHC physiotherapist.

“She told us about the Beacon Centre,” said Julie. “There was an exercise class which I could go to, to help me to retain my muscle strength and independence. The classes were great - good for meeting other patients as well. Their support helped me feel that I wasn’t alone.”

To join in with our Phyllis Tuckwell 40th Anniversary Radiothon on May 24th 2019 - all information is here.

Julie Lodge - Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice
Julie Lodge was referred to Phyllis Tuckwell after being diagnosed with breast cancer

Julie also saw Phyllis Tuckwell nurses at the Beacon Centre in Guildford, and went along to the weekly art therapy and poetry classes there, which provide an invaluable distraction from the stress of living with an advanced or terminal illness, and help patients work through their emotions to find a sense of peace and tranquillity. “The poetry class was wonderful,” smiles Julie. “It’s a lovely centre. They do hand massages there too, and mix creams for you.”

After another course of chemotherapy, Julie’s doctors signed her off for the summer, and she and her family began to look forward to some time without any hospital trips. Julie’s pain increased though, and she collapsed at home one day. Scans revealed that the cancer had progressed into her central nervous system, and Julie was admitted to Phyllis Tuckwell’s In-Patient Unit (IPU).

“Mum was extremely anxious about coming” said Claire. “She had suffered so much and felt so vulnerable. But when she arrived, the nurses reassured her. They treated her like a person, not just a patient, taking time to get to know her needs and how to make her comfortable. They helped her to keep her dignity.”

The Hospice does not have any visiting restrictions, so Andrew and Claire were able to visit at any time of day or night, enabling them to be with Julie as much as they could and for as long as she needed them.

Phyllis Tuckwell’s Physiotherapists visited her daily and their Occupational Therapists gave her advice on wheelchairs and other aids which might help her, while their Complementary Therapists offered her massages and made her a pain relief meditation CD.

Julie Lodge - Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice
Andrew and Claire were able to visit at any time of day or night, enabling them to be with Julie as much as they could and for as long as she needed them

“We feel here that, as a family, we are able to have quality time with Mum,” said Claire. “It could have been a stressful time, but because we trust everyone here we don’t have to worry about everyday care - we can let the staff here do that while we just enjoy being with Mum.”

“I get comfort from the Hospice chapel and chaplains,” says Julie. “And the hand holding is amazing; the staff will sit and hold my hand in theirs. If anyone has just been referred to Phyllis Tuckwell, I would tell them, you will feel very safe and nurtured here. They make you feel special; they do anything they can to make you feel better. As a family we cannot thank the doctors, nurses, staff and volunteers enough for their amazing kindness and care.”

 To join in with our Phyllis Tuckwell 40th Anniversary Radiothon on May 24th 2019 - all information is here.