In October 2015, Nalini Gungee, 44 years of age was diagnosed with carcinoma cancer in her stomach. This particular type of cancer is quite rare and very aggressive and she was already at stage 4. It all started when she drastically started losing weight and had lots of reflux. She then visited her GP and was treated for an ulcer for 18 months.One morning she experienced severe pain and immediately went to hospital for a check-up. After the gastroscopy, it was discovered she had cancer. Being in the nursing paternity, she knew about hospice and reached out to them for help.

Nalini was not doing very well as her father just recently passed away and her mother she was living with, aged 75 years could not accept the fact that she had a life- threatening illness. She felt alone as her family too was struggling to accept this. Hospice intervention then took place.”Hospice changed my life and brought my family together.”she said. I am definitely in a better space and more positive.

She then started to attend day care at hospice where it made her share what she was feeling a little easier with people who were in similar situations. “I go home knowing that I am not alone. I go home knowing that besides my friends and family, there are other people who care and love me.”she added. Hospice gives me faith. Sometimes I would wake up with pain, but knowing that people will make me feel better at day care, I push myself to go. Being the youngest in the group it gave me hope to see that despite their illnesses they carry on with life as if nothing is wrong with them. One close friend, Irene always told me : “Put your disease at the back of your head.”

It is a lonely road when people don’t understand your illness and start pitying you by saying “shame”. All we would also like to hear from time is “that is a strong lady and she’s living her life to the fullest.”

*Sadly Nalini passed away on the 24 April 2016 shortly after her interview. She will be missed.