Mr X

Hospice: St Bernard’s Hospice
Name of patient: Mr X
Written by: Nursing Manager, Riccy Durrheim
Diagnosis: Breast and prostate cancer
Message: Palliative care is not only end of life care. It is the holistic care provided to anyone diagnosed with a chronic or life-threatening condition with the aim of improving their quality of life.

Mr X is a delightful 80-year old male, very jovial and upbeat about his situation. In the year 2000 he found a lump in his right breast. Knowing about cancer as he had a family history of prostate cancer, he went to have the lump investigated and sure enough it was cancer. He had a mastectomy and as he had found it early, no further treatment was needed.

Four years later he discovered a lump in his left breast. Once again, he went to have it investigated and it was cancer again. This time they did a lumpectomy and once again, it was early so no further treatment was needed.

The breast cancer really surprised him as he has no breast cancer in his family, only prostate cancer. Both his grandfather and his father died from prostate cancer.

He has been well from the breast cancer, then a few years ago he started having prostate problems. He went to investigate and sure enough he had a raised blood count. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer and went through a course of radiation.

His main problem towards the end of 2021 was that he was battling to walk to the toilet and trying to use a bucket. He was really battling to cope. Then a neighbor told him to call Hospice as they will help you with everything.

He spoke to his doctor and his doctor gladly referred him to hospice. Sr Connie Bekwa saw Mr X for the first time on 06/10/2021, Connie has since done 9 visits to his house, he has a care giver who washes him and assists twice a week and has seen 3 different care givers. In total they have seen him 35 times and they care for him from a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual aspect.

The social worker has been to see him and assess that all is well in the family. He receives a pension, he is a very proud man and does not want the community to think he is dying, so he requested that the Sr park her car down the road and not outside his house.

Sr Connie assessed, then brought him a commode, a walker and a walking stick. He has not looked back, he felt his troubles were all sorted and it has had such an impact on his mental state and wellbeing and improved his quality of life. He looks forward to seeing the caregiver.

The spiritual worker is due to go see him, but they are just waiting for him to want her to visit, he says he is fine at the moment with his own church and minister.

He is supported by his wife and family, he lives in a modest home in CC Lloyd, he is Xhosa speaking and speaks English. He loves to read the Daily Dispatch. He is mostly bedbound but able to walk around the house with the help of the walker, and sits in the lounge and watches TV.

He requested that we do not use his name or take a photo of him.