Jonnie Irwin says he has 'up and down days' as he receives palliative care in hospice
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TV presenter Jonnie Irwin has opened up on what life has been like in palliative care following his cancer diagnosis, saying there are 'up days and down days'.
The former A Place In The Sun presenter was tragically diagnosed with terminal lung cancer in 2020, though initially kept his diagnosis a secret so he could keep working.
He'd got the diagnosis after his vision went blurry while driving during work and was told he had 'months to live', but Irwin continues to defy the odds and has spoken about his experiences living with cancer.
He's said he's 'taking every day as a gift' following the diagnosis and while he doesn't know how long he has left he's intent on spending as much time as possible with his family.
Irwin said that from time to time he stays at a hospice and today (24 July) he appeared on the BBC's Morning Live show to explain to audiences what that was like.
"I have up days and down days but today's very much an up day. Family are great and very noisy," he said before answering a question on his recent experience with the care.
"I've not been using it recently, I've been using it for three years. Palliative care is the care that you're given when the doctors think you won't recover. I've been in palliative care since day one.
"It can take many guises really, palliative care through the hospital, through chemotherapy treatments all the way to the hospice.
"My hospice is a delight actually, I wouldn't say it's like a hotel but it's like a very nice private hospital. My perception of a hospice was very much a boiling hot room full of people that look frail and are towards the end of their days.
"This was nothing of the sort, it's spacious, energised, comfortable. It's even got a jacuzzi bath. En suite rooms, and the staff are just amazing. I've had a really good experience with my hospice."
He said people in situations similar to his should 'embrace' hospice care and told them it was 'not all doom and gloom'.
People watching Jonnie talk about hospice care have welcomed his words, saying he provided 'a truly lovely moment of informed discussion about palliative care and hospice care'.
A hospice nurse of 11 years thanked him 'for highlighting the important work we do', and someone else thanked the show for 'tackling a lot of the misconceptions about palliative care'.
A fourth agreed that hospice care was 'aimed at quality of life and not just end of life' as Jonnie had told the show.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues and want to speak to someone in confidence, contact Macmillan’s Cancer Support Line on 0808 808 00 00, 8am–8pm seven days a week