Remembering Josephine Armstrong

Every cancer battle is so subjective and no battle is the same.

Mam was diagnosed with colon cancer in March ’17. She got the all-clear in March ’18 and was re-diagnosed in May ’18. She was told in August ’18 that there was nothing else they could do.

At that stage the Hospice allowed us, as a family, to wrap our heads around the situation. We had the support of the staff who were willing to explain things, answer questions and just be there. It made the real-life nightmare part of the process that bit more bearable.

I’d attended Coffee Mornings in the past, but I had no idea of the extent of how much good goes on behind the walls of the Hospice, how many families’ lives change for the better or the worse there.

‘…if one other person can get some bit of relief or the support we got it would be invaluable.’

I appreciate it’s not like old times, when people went to Hospice to pass away – and unfortunately that’s the way it was for Mam – but amongst that there are the other branches of what Hospice stands for, whether it’s bridging the gap between getting patients home or giving them respite or their final resting place. It ties back to the idea that each cancer battle is so individual.

We’d be a very close family and we wanted to give back. Sadly Mam’s cancer story is no different to so many others and we were very grateful that we have had an opportunity in the greater scale of things to give back. That’s why this year I took part in the Dublin Mini Marathon for Galway Hospice.

Mam was very motivated, a ‘positive mind set’ person. I think that’s why we as family gathered around to fundraise. Because that’s the kind of person Mam was, you’d like to give something positive back. We are fortunate to have had a role model like her. We were always very grateful for her, she knew that and she would have been very grateful for the care that was given to her.

Sadly we couldn’t help Mam but if one other person can get some bit of relief or the support we got it would be invaluable. We realise how much the time we were able to spend that time together because of that facility meant.


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