It was 17 years ago today that my Mom died of cancer. The healthiest woman on the planet was diagnosed with metastatic disease in November and died six months later. She was offered chemotherapy and told it might extend her life a few months, but she made the choice to live out her days as they came, just like she had done before being told her life was now on a different course.
I think about her care as the cancer moved through her body. Her doctors really didn’t do much for her.I’m not sure they knew any better.
I traveled West and stayed with her for the last few months of her life and even then, I was so new to care giving and with no one to offer guidance, it was me and my Mom working together, to find that comfort zone. Palliative care really wasn’t a developed program so long ago and pain doctors weren’t even on the map. It was morphine for the dying in those days and that was it.
She did have a wonderful nurse with hands of silk. She was so tender and caring toward my Mom. I think she really did feel her pain and did everything in her power to ease it.
Cancer care has come so far, not just in the treatment rooms, but in the care of the patient….the whole patient.
Care givers have come a long way too. We learn from our experiences and improve with each challenge.
Older and wiser…