I just got off the phone with the Hospice nurse. She will be coming to see us on Monday at 1:00. When I returned the original call...I thought I was calling Home Health. I cannot even explain to you what happened when the person on the other end of the phone answered....Lake Martin Hospice. I thought I was going to die right then and there. My aunt was a Hospice worker for a number of years....I know what Hospice is about...but...I also knew I was going to have to be strong for my mom...so I did a little research....and I need to share it with you so I can cope with this devastating event in my life. My dad's back began to hurt a couple of weeks ago when he stepped out of the car. Mom took him to the doctor, he ran a series of outpatient tests...perscribed lortab for pain, a muscle relaxer for the back....and then a few days later called in an antibiotic for the kidney infection...but the back is still hurting....why? Cancer is back....it is riddling his body with pain...he barely moves, he does not eat, he sleeps an abnormal amount, he is lifeless....so I took off Monday to go with my parents to see Dr. Powers...but then I found the message from Hospice saying Dr. Powers had referred Daddy to them...at that moment in time...it was a death sentence. I wanted someone to hold me...and make it go away...I wanted my daddy to be strong and vibrant again...but that is not the way the story is leading. So in my research I found the American Cancer Society site...again. I had visited them back in December when my dad was first diagnosed with lung cancer. I am trying to cope right now...but not doing it well...so here is what I found.
From the American Cancer Societies website I found this information. "Hospice, in the earliest days, was a concept rooted in the centuries-old idea of offering a place of shelter and rest, or "hospitality" to weary and sick travelers on a long journey. In 1967, Dame Cicely Saunders at St. Christopher's Hospice in London first applied the term "hospice" to specialized care for dying patients. Today, hospice care provides humane and compassionate care for people in the last phases of incurable disease so that they may live as fully and comfortably as possible.
Hospice is a philosophy of care. The hospice philosophy or viewpoint accepts death as the final stage of life. The goal of hospice is to enable patients to continue an alert, pain-free life and to manage other symptoms so that their last days may be spent with dignity and quality, surrounded by their loved ones. Hospice affirms life and does not hasten or postpone death. Hospice care treats the person rather than the disease; it focuses on quality rather than length of life. Hospice care is family-centered care -- it involves the patient and the family in making decisions. Care is provided for the patient and family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hospice care can be given in the patient's home, a hospital, nursing home, or private hospice facility. Most hospice care in the United States is given in the home, with a family member or members serving as the main hands-on caregiver.
Hospice care is meant for the time when cancer treatment can no longer help you, and you are expected to live 6 months or less. Hospice gives you palliative care, which is treatment to help relieve disease-related symptoms, but not cure the disease; its main purpose is to improve your quality of life. You, your family, and your doctor decide together when hospice care should begin.
One of the problems with hospice is that it is often not started soon enough. Sometimes the doctor, patient, or family member will resist hospice because he or she thinks it means you're giving up, or that there's no hope. This is not true. If you get better or the cancer goes into remission, you can be taken out of the hospice program and go into active cancer treatment. You can go back to hospice care at a later time, if needed. The hope that hospice brings is the hope of a quality life, making the best of each day during the last stages of advanced illness."
Please pray for my family and I as we walk down this dark road. I know my father is a Christian...and I truly do not want him to suffer anymore...but as you all know...I am a daddy's girl...and an only child...and I am going to have to start dealing with saying goodbye to my dad...and letting go. Suzy Bogus did a song several years ago...that is about Letting Go...it is about letting go of a child...but it applies just as well right now. Oh letting go...
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
11 months ago