I just wanted to write about something that provided both comfort but was also immensely painful. When my dad was considered terminal we had a few good weeks during which he began looking into hospice care.
I will never forget the day my own home became a hospital. I realized at this point that my father was so sick that he needed equipment in our home just to ensure that he could continue living. It was horrifying. They moved a hospital bed into my parents bedroom, next to their big bed. They had oxygen tanks and other machines that were meant to save his life. It was so hard to grapple with. Not only that, we had nurses take shifts at our home.
While my dad was sick we always had our home. It helped make things feel normal. Helped me realize that my family was still my family. When he got too sick he went to the hospital and so all my very bad experiences were mostly related to the hospital. Now however, I felt like our home had been invaded. It was not longer the same house I grew up in.
At the same time I was grateful. Hospice allowed my father to stay at home, where he wanted to be, for as long as he could. It meant we could avoid some hospital visits and he didn’t need to live there for the remainder of his life. And for that, I am so thankful to all the nurses and doctors that did their best to keep him where he wanted to be.
So very hard to revisit these memories of when my mom was in hospice. So brave to talk about it – it was so horrifying to see my home also turned into a hospital. Hospice is wonderful but it is so challenging to adjust to the idea of palliative care as opposed to curative.
Ugh. Hospice was such a difficult transition to make. Like Geekgirl231 said, it felt as though we were giving up. In some ways, the dialogue pertaining to cancer is pretty messed up. We call it a fight or a battle which, although not untrue, means that if one decides its time to stop treatment and to live the remainder of ones life or shift to a palliative care focus, you are surrendering. I still have very emotional memories from the day we made that switch. Thank you for sharing this!