2016 brought with itself the toughest time of my life as this was the year when my mother was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. She had never smoked a cigarette in her life. However, having worked with several coworkers for years who regularly smoked played its part. It was then when we realized how injurious to health hazards of second-hand smoking can prove to be.
Upon diagnosis, it was confirmed that her condition was terminal and she wouldn’t be able to live for longer. However, doctors recommended her chemotherapy to give her some more time to live. As per the doctors, she had only six to eighteen months to live depending on her response to chemotherapy.
Needless to say, the whole family was devastated by this news. It was impossible for all of us to even think of a time when she wouldn’t be around us. All we could do was to hope for a miracle. However, as fate has it, there was no chance for any miracle. As time passed, her condition was deteriorating as she wasn’t responding to chemo. As a matter of fact, it was doing the opposite effect; she had gotten weak and sick due to this treatment. Furthermore, she spent most of her time sleeping due to pain medications she was given as part of the treatment.
It was then that we realized that we shouldn’t go ahead with chemotherapy and look for an alternative. A friend of mine recommended us to get hospice care for her and we seriously considered this option. After thorough research and consideration, we finally decided on Good Heart Hospice & Palliative Care, a renowned hospice care center in LA.
This decision, although a tough one to make, was necessary. Before the hospice care began, each time I visited my parents, her condition saddened me. She had lost a lot of weight, her hair was gone, and the worst of all, I couldn’t find the twinkle in her eye when she smiled. Therefore, choosing Hospice Care seemed to be the best option at that time.
After an initial meeting with Good Heart Hospice, they mapped out a proper care plan for my father. The best part of this plan was that they consulted mom on every step on how she wants hospice to be arranged. It was actually pleasant to see her actively taking part in something after a long time. The thought of spending time with her loved ones had brought her smile back, which we all used to miss dearly.
Soon after the hospice plan was made, specialists at Good Heart Hospice started implementing it. In no time, their experts set things up including a hospital bed, IV medication, etc. in my parent’s room. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much effort they were putting in to make mom feel comfortable.
As part of their hospice plan, we had regular visits from their specialists, volunteers, and nurses. They wouldn’t hesitate in visiting more than the routine times if the need arose. In the case where they weren’t able to be there physically, their availability on phone made their presence felt. They provided great support, both emotionally and spiritually, along with care to mom. So much that she actually started to feel better. Although she was physically weak, we could feel some positivity in her.
With the help of hospice experts, nurses, and volunteers, taking care of mom was no longer a tough task for her. In fact, it proved to be quite easier than we had expected it to be all thanks to Good Heart Hospice’s sound management and thorough planning.
A fact that we didn’t consider earlier but realized later that hospice was not only meant for the patient but for their family as well. Hospice volunteers and social workers would meet with us often and spend time with us to help and accept reality. Furthermore, nurses were there to take care of us. They were a perfect example of loving caregivers. I simply can’t thank them enough for their emotional support and care they bestowed upon us during our tough times.
Undoubtedly, it was the hardest time of my life when mom passed away. It has been three years since her death and yet I miss her a lot. However, if it weren’t Good Heart Hospice & Palliative Care, I wouldn’t have fond memories of watching her all happy and relaxed in her last few months.