Diagnosis of a terminal illness is a devastating blow. It affects not only the patient, but the family and friends as well.
I want to tell you a story about my mother. Her name was Dolores. She had many titles. Some of her favorites were, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, cook, party planner, comedian. She lived life, all of it, to the fullest and the best she knew how. She loved singing, laughing, swimming, her clown collection, her home. She seldom knew a stranger and we often had them at the dinner table. She loved to feed people. She was my hero.
In September of 2002 she was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Yes, she was a smoker. It was the same vice that took the life of my father five years earlier.
She was given 10 weeks to live. Not sure how they come up with those numbers, but they were right on with hers. The operative word here though, is LIVE.
Mom made the choice to LIVE for those last weeks and I knew that Hospice needed to be involved at once.
So many believe that Hospice is meant for the end days when all hope is lost. They believe it is reserved for those who have given up or given in. So many believe that you have to have permission from your physician or caregiver to participate.
Hospice allowed my mother to remain in her beloved home for the last nine of ten weeks that she was alive. They provided Nursing care, physical therapy, medication, a chaplain named John that my mother lovingly called Captain John. They offered support, they held us up when we couldn’t do it ourselves and they were always just a phone call away.
It was the BEST of the WORST.
Mom spent her last six days at the Hospice Center. She received excellent care as did we. It allowed us the luxury of just being her children and nothing more was asked of us.
We never received a bill.
I want to share with you another story from Will Roeder who suffers from ALS. He has been a partner and patient with Stein Hospice in Sandusky, OH since July. He made the decision to embrace LIFE and explains his journey with Hospice in a most wonderful way.
If you know someone, if you are someone …..don’t wait. Call your local Hospice Services today. It’s About Living.