On December 20, 2010 in one sentence from the doctor, my husband and our lives changed forever. We were given the diagnosis of liver cancer with widespread metastasis. We spent New Year’s weekend in shock. On January 3, 2011 we met with the oncologist who was honest with us in explaining that the disease had progressed and was widespread and no treatment was offered, other than some radiation to gain a few days. He was barely able to do five days of radiation, as disease was progressing rapidly, and my husband became too weak to travel in the car for treatment. Pain was excruciating.
We started hospice within a few weeks of diagnosis. Hospice was a godsend to my family and I. I, myself am a Registered Nurse, but it was immediately clear to me that I could not handle all this on my own. I have one daughter, who was also devastated. No other family in my hometown.
From the moment my hospice team entered our home, I felt a sense of security and peace that sustained me throughout the final four weeks. I was not able to think clearly; my daughter and I were in such pain, we were treading in unknown waters – without hospice support we would have drowned. Their professional expertise and genuine compassion held us up during the darkest days of my life.
It was a natural and God-driven transition for me, as a nurse, and a widow, to now “pay it forward” to other suffering families’ by volunteering with Hospice of West Tennessee. My heart and soul will forever be dedicated to easing the pain and providing comfort to another person/family’s journey through the process of illness to death. I will be forever grateful to my hospice team for the love and support that carried me to this day in 2020.
November is National Hospice Palliative Care Month, an important time to help others understand the important resource we have in our communities. It’s never too early for a family to learn about the services hospice can provide. Hospice of West Tennessee is here for you. To learn more, call 731.664.4220 or visit www.wth.org/services/hospice.
Hospice of West Tennessee volunteer