Living with terminal illness in lockdown

17 April 2020

Lin with her family, @owenjamesphotography

Lin, who is 63 and living with terminal cancer, doesn’t know if she’ll see an end to the lockdown. But with the loving support of Marie Curie Nurses, and her wonderful children, sisters and extended family, she’s managing to see the silver lining.

Lin says, “One of the lessons we can learn from the coronavirus crisis, but also from life in general, is to be kind to each other, to think about other people, and to do what we can to help whenever we can.

“I’ve seen the kindness of strangers – people will reach out to you and offer support for no other reason than they can. I think that’s wonderful.”

“My plans obviously up until now were to keep going as long as I could keep going. But without the benefit of being able to go out and do the things I was hoping to be doing, that’s going to be very difficult…I’m not even sure I have 12 weeks.”

Despite this, Lin has found that she’s been able to stay positive by focusing on just the next few days, and on small art projects she can do at home. Lin says, “I’ve been finding myself activities I can do inside my home… craft activities, painting, that sort of thing.”

Marie Curie Nurses are needed now more than ever

While coronavirus has fundamentally changed our lives, other conditions haven’t gone away. Sadly, people are still dying of cancer, motor neuron disease, and any number of terminal illnesses.

But with new restrictions, the way they’re likely to spend their final days has changed dramatically, as having lots of friends and family visit becomes impossible – and that means Marie Curie Nurses are needed now more than ever.

Keeping nurses on the front line

As much of the nation has been told to stay home, Marie Curie Nurses – and indeed all doctors, nurses and healthcare professionals – cannot work from home. They will continue offering their tailored, one-to-one care to people who are at the end of their lives.

And now, more than ever before, our nation needs them – both to support the NHS as they deal with the impact of this unprecedented crisis, and to continue offering their support to people who are coming to the end of their lives.

Helping Marie Curie Nurses take pressure off the NHS

Lin’s story highlights how important it is that Marie Curie Nurses are able to continue to offer their loving care – whilst also supporting the NHS and the nation as we deal with the impact of coronavirus. To do so, they’ll need the public’s support as nurses need extra protective equipment and demand for nursing care and spaces in hospices increases.

At the same time, the charity is facing a shortfall in income as fundraising events have been cancelled and shops closed.

Marie Curie is reliant on the generosity of the public, and needs to raise £2.5 million every week to care for tens of thousands of people who require nursing and hospice care.

Celebrating the kindness of supporters

Marie Curie’s Chief Executive Matthew Reed has highlighted that it is the wonderful members of the public who choose to support Marie Curie, who give him confidence that Marie Curie Nurses will be able to continue to offer their loving, one-to-one care throughout the crisis – and long into the future:

“We are all in this crisis together and already we are seeing how the public in this country is rising to support each other and the most vulnerable. The people who support Marie Curie stand with our nurses – I’m confident they’ll help us get through this, and whatever new challenges the future holds.”

If you, or someone you know, is affected by a terminal illness and concerned about Coronavirus, Marie Curie’s Support Line team are ready to help with the information you need when you need it. The line is open seven days a week, or you can find more information online.

Call free: 0800 090 2309

Or visit: mariecurie.org.uk/coronavirus