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Hospice Care-A Forum

by on December 31, 2010

The Palliative Care RN had arrived today to discuss the advantages of Hospice care and to answer our questions.  Since Satomi was so familiar with the process, it sure seemed that it was mostly for my benefit.  More importantly though was that I wanted someone besides myself to hear Satomi’s wishes and really verify that our choices were prudent.  With Satomi’s hearing problem, I was being extra careful.  The possibility of a misunderstanding would be just devastating to me.

The RN was very informative and has been handling both Palliative and Hospice care for many years.  She explained the procedure but more importantly we discussed likely scenarios and practical changes to Satomi’s care.  Hospice care is not curative so anything intended to treat the cancer itself would stop.  That includes blood work, placement of the Portacath, all scans and MRI’s, as well as normal doctors visits.  Her care would be limited to symptom and pain management-Medication or equipment to aid her dizziness, nausea, seizures and headaches.  The care itself could occur in our home or in an outside facility.  The discussion went slowly because the RN wrote Satomi notes about everything just to be sure.

Halfway through the discussion, Satomi’s best friend arrived.  She was a welcome asset to the discussion as a fellow medical professional (Physical Therapist) and mother; Satomi loves her very much and trusts her character and opinion implicitly.  I was very eager to hear her opinion.

I was surprised to hear that hospice care was completely elective.  If I wanted to pull hospice care and take Satomi to the hospital, I could for any reason.  This sounded a bit funny to me and goes against my nature however, it does allow us the flexibility to change our minds in a very stressful time.  Satomi told us of several instances when she pulled her father out of hospice care so he could be rushed to the ER for a seemingly unrelated health problem.  This was reassuring.

The conversation continued for some time.  There were a few difficult and emotional moments but in the end, we all had a similar opinion.  I am now convinced of Satomi’s motivations and the reasonableness of our decisions.  Hospice care is the best thing for us now.

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