Terminally ill Chris receives palliative care: “More quality for the time that remains”
And that is what Chris from Aalbeke is also trying to do. He has cancer, but tries to get as much out of life as possible with his wife Roos.
“Mentally difficult to deal with”
Four years ago Chris was diagnosed with throat cancer. Doctors also diagnose metastasis to the lungs. They remove a piece of that, but after a while the metastasis returns. Chris has now been treated. Roos is his support and refuge.
“Life is one of many limitations,” says Chris Lahousse. “And mentally it’s hard to deal with that too.”
Rita has been a volunteer at Palliative Care South West Flanders for years. She visits people’s homes and above all listens.
“If someone tells me what’s on his mind. Then I can talk to him about it and ask why he doesn’t tell his wife. Why don’t you open up to her about that? And that brings people closer together.” says Rita Bossuyt, volunteer at Palliative Care South West Flanders.
Roos Simoens, Chris’s wife: “What else can you do together? Go for a walk, for example. But Chris didn’t want to use a wheelchair, but thanks to the intervention, he succeeded. And then we went on holiday.”
“Apply for palliative care faster”
Palliative Care South West Flanders is 25 years old. They work with about 40 experts. In all, they have treated more than 8,000 patients. Demand has increased by a fifth in 5 years. They call on patients to turn to palliative care more quickly. It’s also free.
Stijn Deceukelier, Palliative Care South-West Flanders: “Today, this is regarded too much as terminal care, at the very end. While there is so much more to offer. We can do pain and symptom control, but we can also talk about social things, about psychological aspects. It’s just about it. Ok, I’m sick, it’s not getting better. But I can do the days that are still there, I can make them as good as possible.”
“Making the best of every day”
And Roos and Chris also try to get as much out of life together as possible.
“That we can still eat and drink something together. That still works very well. We try to make the best of it every day,” Chris concludes.