My name is Jim Newman, 76 years of age, born in Dublin, lived most of my life here in Sligo. I’m married to a French lady, Josette. We have two children, a daughter living in France and a son living in Spain. And we have three grandchildren, our daughter has one eight year old and my son has a four year old and a two year old. They’ve been visiting me regularly, making sure that I’m happy and it’s great.
I had been diagnosed, correctly I might add, with acid reflux three years ago, and I was cured of it, and it came back again and this time it didn’t go away & when it didn’t go away, they scanned it, and I was immediately put into the care of the oncology people who recognized that there was a tumour there and that it was inoperable and it was in the pancreas, and I had to share that news with all the people who are very dear to me in my life, and that was tough going.
But I gave myself a good shake. And my friends and family in particular, were great support to me and that gave me the courage to chin up, chest out, shoulders back, face into it and get on top of this. It was going to be heavy duty, but at the same time I was in the best hands possible, I discovered very quickly.
When I heard of palliative care, in the beginning I thought it was all about death and I found to my surprise it relieved all my pain. It certainly improved the quality of my life. But not only mine, but also of my wife and my children and my family and friends.
One of the big helps was that the palliative care people were always at the end of the phone any problem whatsoever. If I had pain anywhere, discomfort anywhere, queried anything, wanted information with anything I’d ring them they would answer or if they didn’t answer immediately, they’d get back to me in a couple of hours. They would have researched everything. They would have done their homework before they rang me back which was very impressive.
My routine was getting up in the morning, having my breakfast with my wife and realizing I’d no pain and that I’d had a good night’s sleep and got stuck into the day. At 10 o’clock I have a clotter of medication to take which I do carefully and methodically. I go for a walk every single morning, almost for 2 or 4k.
My plans for the future are getting better. I feel positive about my illness. I think I’m going to have a good quality of life. And I hope to be able to travel and see my family. I mentioned I have a son and a daughter living abroad in Spain and France. I’d love to be able to visit them and I’ve in laws and outlaws in France as well. Who I’m Very fond of. Love to visit them and they come over and see me.
If palliative care wasn’t here, I wouldn’t not only not have this quality of life, but I would be in permanent agony and pain. And thanks to them I don’t and I have a good quality life