It was Time to Listen to my Mom
“I realized in that moment, that I needed to stop thinking about what I want, which was every last second with my mom, and start thinking about what she wanted. It’s not easy, but I know I’m doing what’s right for her because she told me what she wanted: to stop searching for other treatments and focus on spending time with her family.”
I met with the daughter of a hospice patient who had come on to service. She was a young woman, in her 20's, taking incredible care of her mother, who has complex medical needs. I was exploring with the daughter how the family came to the decision to come onto hospice. She shared with me her mother's cancer journey, how she was diagnosed less than a year ago, the cancer progressed quickly. She talked about how desperately she wanted her mom to continue exploring every treatment, and at the same time, she saw how tired her mom was; how sick her mom was.
She shared that one day when her mom was hospitalized yet again, she looked at her and asked, "Mom, what's most important to you right now?" Her mom told her, "I just want to be home. I'm tired, honey. I just want to be home with you eating McDonalds and watching tv."
This young woman then advocated for her mother in the hospital, letting them know that her mother wanted to come home. A hospice referral was made and the patient was home within a day.
When I arrived to the home, the first thing I noticed were the several empty bags of McDonalds on the kitchen table.
This work is so tender. Each day, I am in awe of the love that I get to witness between family members. It is truly remarkable the strength and courage that people can find to have these important and challenging conversations, as well as provide the day to day care for their family member.
We created our new E•O•L Deck to help facilitate tender and important conversations. Our hope is that professionals within the EOL space and family members will be able to use this resource to talk more in depth about the nuances of their end of life wishes.
You can learn more at thedeathdeck.com.
P.S. Thank you to all of the family caregivers providing loving care. You inspire me daily.