Friday, March 26, 2010

Surviving hospice, continued...

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My Dad passed under VA Hospice care in Ann Arbor, MI. They were wonderful and caring under such horrific circumstances. He found out he had throat cancer on Good Friday, had a massive heart attack the 1st day of kemo (days after the diagnosis) and shortly after he went into hospice care. I couldn't believe it when the team of doctors told us, during a family meeting, he had too many major concerns and he wasn't strong enough to embrace any more life saving measures such as surgery. I had such faith in modern technology but in a moment’s time, my faith was shattered. We told my Dad, who had a tube in his throat and couldn't talk, that they couldn't do anything else for him and his only concern/requests were, would my Mom be able to handle the medical bills & could he just go home to die. With a room full of people telling him the doctors couldn't do anything and you're going to die, he asked about medical expense. I always thought he was a selfish person in my early life but when his life was on the line, he cared more about the impact on my Mom; pretty powerful stuff!

My Dad made it home for a few short hours where he suddenly pulled all of his tubes out frantically and at that time, the hospice nurse (we were going to try at home hospice) called 911 and admitted him into care at their center.

He passed on May 20, 2008; not even 2 months after his diagnosis although it took such a toll on all of us, it seemed like years passed during that short time. I feel like I aged 1 decade that spring!

We survived it and like I said in the article, once I crossed the dark line, I saw the light and embraced my spirituality which guided me through the rest of the way. It is the most difficult thing I've been through and my heart aches for anyone who has to go down this path. God bless you all!

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