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Hospice Came Today

Letting Go

By J. Delaney-HowePublished 5 months ago 4 min read
Hospice Came Today
Photo by Farrinni on Unsplash

My mom dedicated her life to her children. She took care of us. GOOD care of us. All while battling her own demons. She is kind-hearted, loving, and funny. Christmases, Easter, and our birthdays always brought great gifts, above my parent’s means. And today, hospice came for her.

I have written about this recently, so some of you may know my mom has a Glioblastoma tumor on her temporal lobe. Her tumor is in-operable; after five weeks of radiation and chemo, the tumor has almost tripled in size. The doctors told us the words we were dreading-there is nothing more they can do for her. So we brought her home to keep her comfortable and surrounded by her loved ones as she transitions to whatever comes after this life. That is where hospice comes in.

The hospice intake team explained that hospice isn’t for people to die; instead, It is for people to live out the rest of their time without appointments and treatments, comfortable and pain-free. They also help support the family throughout this time.

What is Hospice?

“You matter because of who you are. You matter to the last moment of your life, and we will do all we can, not only to help you die peacefully, but also to live until you die.”

--Dame Cicely Saunders, founder of the first modern hospice

Hospice care is a specific type of care given to those with a terminal illness. People tend to think that hospice helps you die. That is what I thought hospice was as well. But it is not. The goal of hospice is to help people in the final stages of life live out the remainder of their life with comfort and dignity. Hospice sends a nurse once a week and an aide twice a week, as well as twenty-four-hour phone support.

Full-Time Caregiver

Since my mother’s diagnosis in September, my sister and I have been caring for my mother full-time. She had to return to work once her leave of absence was exhausted, so now I am my mother’s primary caregiver. My mother lives with my sister, and to bring my mother home, we turned the living room into a hospital room-but she is home with us now. My sister works during the day, so I take care of my mother during the day and then again overnight.

Cancer stole my mother’s words first. Cancer has caused aphasia. She can understand what is said but can’t find the words to respond.

Cancer robbed her of hearing and vision on her left side. She has no peripheral vision, and we have to be close and directly in front of her.

Next, cancer took her mobility. She started falling at home. She can take a few steps with someone helping her. She has no balance when she does stand up, and she leans to the right. Now she is bedbound most of the time.

The steroids she takes to combat the swelling in her brain make it hard for her to sleep at night, so most days, we are all exhausted.

Cancer has destroyed her independence and modesty as well. She now depends on us for meals, personal care, and bathroom use.

What’s next?

Before my mom came home, the doctor told my siblings and me that the treatment wasn’t working and there was nothing more to do. We asked him for a time frame; in his opinion, it could be a few weeks to a couple of months before she passes. So what’s next? It feels like we have to wait. My mother feels like she is waiting to die. We continue to care for her. My sister and I talk to her about good memories throughout our lives. There are times when we laugh about something funny.

We have prepared all of her grandchildren that her death is imminent and that they need to be around the next couple of weeks, so my mom gets to see all of them. I firmly believe that she will pass on once my mother sees her siblings and grandkids.

Next for me is working through all of the emotions I have. I am angry most of all. No one deserves cancer, especially not my mom. I’m mad that life goes on for people when my life is being forever altered. I’m sad. Sad for all the things she will miss. Sad for our loss. I am grateful. Many people do not get the time I have with my mom. I’m thankful for hospice as well. I’m empathetic toward my mom, who cannot communicate her emotions. I find that my bargaining with God isn’t for a miraculous cure-I am a realist. Instead, I’m bargaining for her to move on pain-free and at peace.

My mom is so loved, and she will be missed by many. I hope that her mother and my father will be there waiting when she gets where she is going. And I am convinced we will see her again when we get there.

parentsimmediate familyhumanitygrief

About the Creator

J. Delaney-Howe

Husband. Father. Artist. Writer. Seeker.

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Comments (22)

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  • Godwin Msalichuma30 days ago

    Good story

  • Samrah nadeemabout a month ago


  • Sara Wynnabout a month ago

    Experiencing a loved one in hospice changes you forever. I've been where you are. Big hugs from my heart to yours ❤

  • khadija kaleemabout a month ago

    your story just tell a clear picture of a mother i just love your content you can visit my page too i have just started.

  • Dana Crandell2 months ago

    Thank you for sharing this. It's a very relatable story, as we lost our mom to cancer in October of 2020. Your story is proof that your mother loved well and is well-loved. I'm glad it made Top Story, as more will have a chance to read it.

  • Asad2 months ago

    This article is a beautiful tribute to your mother and the love and care you and your family have provided for her during her illness. Your words convey a sense of gratitude for the time you have had with your mother and the support hospice has provided during this difficult time. It is heartwarming to see the effort you have put in to create good memories and ensure that your mother is surrounded by loved ones. Your honesty about the emotions you are experiencing, including anger and sadness, is both brave and relatable. I am sending you and your family love and strength as you continue to care for your mother and work through your grief. Check out my this Article: that can help you achieve your goals and overcome obstacles. It's not just about working hard, but also about being strategic, adaptable, and staying positive. By setting clear goals, breaking down large projects, building a supportive network, and celebrating your successes, you can cultivate persistence and build resilience. And by following the examples of successful people like J.K. Rowling, Oprah Winfrey, and Thomas Edison, you can see the power of persistence in action. So keep going, even when the going gets tough, and you'll be amazed at what you can achieve. https://vocal.media/motivation/the-power-of-persistence-how-to-keep-going-when-the-going-gets-tough

  • Melissa Ingoldsby2 months ago

    A beautiful tribute to your sweet and kind mother, a magnanimous person indeed. Congratulations on your poignant top story!

  • Heather Hubler2 months ago

    So glad you received Top Story for this today :)

  • Loryne Andawey2 months ago

    It took courage and trust to share this painful and personal moment in your life with us here. Thank you for allowing us to learn and offer whatever words we can to honor your mother. You and your family have taken such good care of her that she may pass with grace and dignity. Take care.

  • Donna Renee3 months ago

    I am so sorry 😞 ❤️ it is such a difficult part of love and life.

  • Thank you for sharing your heartfelt experiences. I can relate firsthand.

  • C. H. Richard5 months ago

    I lost my mom to kidney cancer 8 years ago. My sister and I were also her full time caregivers. She signed onto hospice her last month and then to hospice house her last week. We were so grateful for all the support hospice staff offered. It gave us time to just be with her and for her to be comfortable. Thank you for sharing your story. My heart goes out to you and your family. We'll done.❤️

  • Mariann Carroll5 months ago

    Hearted, thanks for sharing. My mom died of cancer. I will be honest , I miss her still. I volunteered at hospice care when my mom died . I met a lot of wonderful people. Your family and mom are bless to have such a close relationship. I wish I was given the opportunity to take care of my mom , like you guys are able to. You and your family are always in my prayers. May you find comfort.

  • I'm so sorry about your mother. Like you said, no one deserves cancer. I can understand your anger at life going on for others while yours is forever altered. I've felt that many times. Sending prayers and hugs to you and your family!

  • Antoinette L Brey5 months ago

    it is so difficult when a parent dies,and you are the caregiver. I did everything to keep my mother alive. When she died I was in shock and sort of collapsed.. thank you for sharing . Hospice gives the power back to the patient, lets them decide when they are ready to go. I had tented not to see that perspective,

  • Gina C.5 months ago

    Sending hugs to you during this incredibly challenging time for you and your family. Your honesty and braveness here is recognized. Thank you so much for sharing your experience and the information about hospices ❤️

  • KJ Aartila5 months ago

    This must be so difficult for you! I appreciate your courage In sharing, and I hope it helps you. Thank you, also for opening my eyes to the reality of hospice care. I appreciate the perspective you have given.

  • Judey Kalchik 5 months ago

    Heart cracking and humbled that, as you document this chapter of your journey with your mom, you closed with a song of hope, love, and faith. Keep identity and feeling your honest emotional, you are displaying such strength, Jim, I know she can feel it. I know she is proud of you. I am sure she feels the love and is comforted

  • Babs Iverson5 months ago

    Prayers for you and your family!!! Doucmenting and sharing a difficult journey, your love for your mom speaks volumes. The stages of grief have already begun. Sending love, hugs, and blessings💕💖😊

  • Cathy holmes5 months ago

    Ah Jim. I'm sorry for the struggle you're going through and for the imminent loss of your Mom. Thank you for sharing.

  • Heather Hubler5 months ago

    I feel for you, your mom and the rest of your family. Sending big hugs to you as you all try to live and process this reality. Hospice is amazing though. The caretakers and nurses are angels. They were an immense help when my mother-in-law was at the end stages of cancer. Thank you for sharing this difficult part of your life.

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