Our work Moldova Stories The loneliness of cancer Hospice Aripile, Orhei Ms F is an old lady living in the centre of Orhei. She had surgery for cancer and now has a stoma. She also suffers from severe asthma. She was bedridden for two months after the surgery but now she has some mobility and can go to the local shop by herself to buy essentials. She is very thin and has lost a lot of weight. Her son came back from Ukraine to look after her whilst she was confined to bed but now nobody from her family is there to take care of her. The hospice doctors keep her pain under control and have shown her how to manage her symptoms. Ms F needs medicines for her asthma attacks and needs regular injections. But money is an issue and she struggles to meet the cost of the medicine. Sometimes she spends money on stoma bags if the hospice can’t provide any, but she often improvises. Home is a one bedroom flat with a small kitchen. She spends much of her time, often all day, in the bedroom, lying in bed covered with blankets. She has no TV or radio and can’t read as she has problems with her sight. The flat is very cold but she will not turn the electric radiator on as she wants to save money for her funeral and to buy 40 “pomeni” (a Moldovan tradition requiring 40 gifts to be given on death). She is very happy and thankful for the help Aripile Sperantei gives her. Without them she would go for days without any company. She is usually visited by Nurse Cristina and Dr Olga who take great care of her. They routinely visit her once a week and whenever she needs them. She is very grateful for all the medical support they provide but also for the psychological help they give her.