February 1, 2016.
I am not minimizing the significance of this stage: it is a way station to the finish line. It is also a pause where serious questions are asked about quality of life vs. extension of life.
First, let me first correct the impression about hospice and palliative care. It is a place where I am found relief to the agonizing pain from my left rib, a place I get 24-care, and allow me to rest. Everyday I see my doctors and they make quick assessment for any subtle changes. My wife sleeps well beside me knowing each night I get restful sleep.
I get along well with my palliative doctors, Dr. R and Dr. W. Their care for me comes across as unfiltered and with authentic compassion I have not experienced. It also goes with nurses and staff. I was a mess when they brought me in last Monday. An ambulance transferred from my home to the hospital, delirious, dehydrated, vomiting, and in massive pain: I felt forsaken. With some magic pain cocktails I bounced back after 24-hours.
Tomorrow, if all goes well I will go home and care will continue there in-house this time. I miss my bed.
Hospice care may not be for everybody but I know it is for me. It should nonetheless be considered as a way to find peace and dignity. I have been touched, cared for by many people since I was first diagnosed in March 2008 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I have come a long way since then. Each individual have done their best for me, and left their mark, before being passed to the next worthy person. I am thankful and blessed. I am still here because of you.
The employee lunch room of the Season’s staff is just across my room. I went in there one night and saw all the letters, pictures, and postcards sent my families who have benefited from their care. All expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the care received by their love ones. I will not take a chance and leave it to others to say what I truly feel. I want you to hear it from me….
I truly appreciate care I received at Season’s. It is not yet over but all I know is I will be well taken cared of until the end.
P.S. A special thanks to KatieH, my angel from Canada. She was the one who admitted me and saw me in my worst (death warmed over). She nursed me back to life.