Monday, June 9, 2008

Hope to reassure others about how hospice can help

My husband Fred had been diagnosed with cancer in September, 2004. He started chemo treatment but after a short while and two trips to the hospital we made the joint decision to stop chemo and go for quality of life for the time left. We had discussed hospice with many people including nurses and some of the negative things we heard scared us more than anyone could know.

We were left with the thought that if we chose to go with help from hospice Fred's time would be very short….The decision to call Hospice was made jointly by the two of us. We called the doctor and asked him to contact hospice for us. From the very first visit we knew we had been misled and that now Fred would have the care and quality of life for the short time left. He was never overmedicated as we had been told he would be and nothing was done without our consent. All of the nurses, social workers and volunteers could not have done more.

Due to the wonderful care of hospice Fred was able to go "home" peacefully. As for myself, they again could not have done more in trying to help me over this very difficult time and I will always be grateful to all of them. If I had one wish it would be to be able to reach people that have the same fears about Hospice that Fred and I had and to be able to reassure them. Hospice gave him the quality of life for his last days that he would not have had without them.

[Note: The author of this story, Norma Burmaster]

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