My first tentative steps on a rocky path that would eventually lead to Cittamani came with a diagnosis of incurable, inoperable prostate cancer in 2010. At the time I was head of the School of Communication at the University of the Sunshine Coast and writing my fourth book. The diagnosis stunned me but over time I convinced myself that cancer was just something else to cope with in the blend of daily life. Then, in 2013 I was diagnosed with advanced bowel cancer.

I am a professional writer and communicator but cannot find the words to explain how much I owe Cittamani, or how much regard I have for every special person who makes the hospice what it is. Their mix of practical nursing, emotional, spiritual and social support is second to none, and given so freely and naturally. So too is their humanity, understanding, calming reassurance, and willingness to fight for their clients.

As I write this, scans have just revealed my cancer has returned and I have new metastases. My wife and I accept my condition is most likely terminal this time around. We don’t know how long I have left but apart from some pain I still feel well so we have no intention of sitting around watching grass grow. We are having fun, travelling and seeing as much as we can of family. When the time comes I hope to die at home.

If there was such a thing as a Nobel prize for hospice and palliative care Cittamani would have to be recognised. I thank each of you from the bottom of my heart.