Peter, 73, is an active family man, who loves life and keeping fit. After his diagnosis of stage 4 progressive lung cancer, Peter is more determined than ever to keep exercising and say a huge thank you to everyone who has cared for him recently.

“I’m not frightened to die. After the care, love and attention I received when I was on the Inpatient Unit in July, I want to come back here to die when it’s my time.

I was diagnosed with stage 4 progressive lung cancer in January. In July I was in hospital with two cases of pneumonia and my health deteriorated. As a family we decided it would be best if I could go to a hospice.

Luckily, I was transferred to the hospice in July for end of life care.

Within an hour of arriving, I blossomed. I felt 200% times better. I can’t really put it into words, but the environment makes such a big difference. It’s warm, friendly and everyone you meet really listens to you. They treat you as a person, rather than just your illness and symptoms.

Despite everything that’s going on with COVID-19, the doctors and nurses took the time to talk to me about what was going on. They tried new medicines and ways of doing things. They understood what was important to me. And they were always honest with me.

I felt like I had everything I wanted. I stayed in a garden room so I could do a bit of sunbathing and I loved the pond. I’ve done carp fishing in the past so I found it really relaxing to be around the fish. I used to sit outside on a morning with my newspaper and cuppa. It’s like a hotel you know.

And it wasn’t just me that they cared for. The care they’ve shown towards my family is incredible. My daughter, Lisa, was told that I had around 1 week left to live when I arrived at the hospice. They’ve supported us all through out, and even now when I’m back home, they still check up on me.

I’m starting to build up my fitness again now. I always kept fit before. I took up taekwondo classes with my grandson when I was 70! I did 20 press ups every morning to get me set up for the day too. I’ve started doing them again and I can do 7 on a morning, it’s not bad is it?

I’ve been thinking about how I can say thank you to the hospice and everyone who cared for me. So, in November, I’m going to walk a half marathon, 13 laps of Locke Park in Redcar. I feel fit. I know I can’t run it, but I’m determined to do something. It might take me a few days, but to have my family by my side and complete this challenge for the hospice, will be amazing.

I don’t want sympathy you know. I just want to say thank you, but that doesn’t feel enough. I hope this shows how appreciative I am. I’m ready for the challenge. And maybe one day, I will be back to 20 press ups on a morning too!”

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