A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
It will be a year August 7 that Donna, my wife of 29+ years, passed away at MJHS Hospice in NYC. It was somewhat of a fast process from her admission on July 11 to have a thoracentesis performed which did not work to being moved to hospice July 18th. This past year has been one of discovery and extreme emotions ranging from ideation to joy in knowing that I have learned so much both during our marriage to the time following her death. But from the time of her dx 2 1/2 years earlier we both knew this story did not have a happy ending. Both of us work in an allied medical area so we are not afraid of physicians or medicine. So we marched head first into this hell and were blessed to have an oncologist who was clinically brilliant but understood our humanity. He guided us to Aug 7 with dignity and strength.
That being said and Donna and I being who we were, a kind of take no prisoners people there was never an outright discussion of palliation until July 15 and it was extremely emotional and the uptake was poor. And hospice was like a pickup game of basketball. We learned as we went. Again we were blessed because karpus 4 and MJHS were clinically superior and I took charge of her care. So in 20/20 hindsight it was an amazingly supportive and caring experience for BOTH of us. And as an aside anyone who I've met who has been in hospice has felt blessed by the experience.
My question to anyone reading this is: Do you wish you had had a discussion about palliation and hospice sooner? Would it have improved your experience?