Posted 12/1/2017 in Hospice
We had to call on RMC Hospice twice last year. First, for my husband, Dan Drees, and then for my Dad, Jerry Keppler. They were two very different experiences, but both times they were there to offer just the right amount of guidance and support.
Dan was diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in January of 2015. At that time, his kidney was removed and we thought we had been granted a reprieve. Then, in September we learned his cancer had spread extensively. We had two prayers, first, he would be cured and second, if he wasn’t cured, he would go quickly and without much pain. Our second prayer was answered that February, so we called RMC Hospice.
RMC Hospice came to our home the day we called. They provided a bed, oxygen, a drainage tube, and morphine for Dan’s pain. They offered physical, emotional and spiritual support for Dan, our children and grandchildren, and me. They delivered books and craft activities for the kids to help them understand what was going on. They were there as little or as much as we wanted the remaining three days of Dan’s life.
In April, Dad was diagnosed with advanced esophageal cancer. Treatments were not working so Dad asked me to call RMC Hospice. Dad’s end-of-life care was much different then Dan’s. His hospice care took place at the Good Neighbor Home because he loved his food and we knew if he was in his home he would be tempted to eat, which his body could not tolerate.
Dad liked being able to make his own decisions. I remember a night when Dad wanted a sweet. We thought he would be told he couldn’t which made me sad and Dad frustrated. RMC Hospice suggested we melt a piece of chocolate on his tongue or put peaches in the blender for him. Our nurses presented Dad with so many options.
RMC Hospice is more than what you think. When Dad wanted to sit, they brought in cushions. When he wanted music, they brought CDs or the musical therapist to play the guitar. When he was restless, they gave him something to help him relax. When he was feeling like it, they prayed with him.
RMC Hospice wasn’t with us to help Dan and Dad die. They were there to help them live out the rest of their lives with dignity. Both men left this world with the love of family surrounding them and feeling cared for by caring nurses.