Mercy and Quality of Life vs Quantity of Life
My dearest friend has been hospitalized for 12 days on the critical care cancer floor. The hospital will allow only one visitor per 12 hours. Her guy has been with her non-stop and is near exhaustion.
My friend's daughter became so disruptive on all fronts that my friend sent her home on Mother's Day. She has now been informed of her mom's condition and will be back Wed. Thankfully, two of our guy's daughters will also arrive this week also from out-of-state.
Until this hospitalization and since release from her previous one, my friend kept weekly appts at the cancer center for infusions, wound care, pain mgt and lymphodema massage by p.t. Both my friend's cousin and I questioned the purpose of continuing chemo and home health rather than Hospice following her first hospital release. She continued to become more ill and there were several trips to ER but not hospital admission; instead she was sent home with antibiotics for her spreading cellulitis.
My friend has become so weak that she cannot leave the bed, it takes two attendants to turn her and she is in diapers. She has said to her guy, her cousin and me that she is ready to stop. One doctor was ready to dismiss her tomorrow. Another said yesterday that she would remain in hospital a few more days to fight the "cellulitis infection". Why? An inoperable tumor was found on her shoulder and there is a constant secretion stream under her arm.
Her guy met with Hospice yesterday and finally initial plans were made for her release home. This morning her oncologist said that infusions would "resume" once she is released from the hospital. Hospice told our guy that as long as she was receiving infusions, they cannot help. Her guy is confused and overwhelmed and didn't tell the oncologist that there would be no more infusions. Both my friend's cousin and I have urged him to do so.
How can an oncologist advise such a preposterous thing? I would have ditched him early on but it was not my call.
Only yesterday did they start sedating her enough to control her pain. The atty. hired to change med. poa, legal poa, will and other financial changes absolutely dropped the ball and has done nothing. The daughter is listed as the med. poa for the hospital and cancer center. If my friend lives until her daughter arrives, I can only pray that the daughter will insist on Hospice. Home health is not trained for the end of life care required.
In an earlier post, @IndianaScott voiced his wife's profound desire for quality vs quantity of life as she made her end of life decisions. Although it was hard to endure, I respected and supported both my mom's and sister's equally emphatic choices of quality over quantity of life decisions. Where is the mercy in prolonging needless suffering?
I'd been jotting remembrances of the zany, hilarious, fun loving antics my friend and I've shared along with the more meaningful ways she's continually changed my life for the better over the past 40 yrs. Her guy says she smiles and has laughed, even nodded in agreement at some parts and has shed a few tears at others as he's been reading them to her for the past few days. How do you say good-bye to someone so special and loved who can't have visitors because of her condition and Covid?
Two of her favorite mantras are: "There is a reason for everything". I am really struggling with that one right now. The second: "This too shall pass" only makes me pray for sooner rather than later.
If this is in any way found to be too upsetting or inappropriate and is not posted, I will understand. I just needed to convey to others who have walked this path the helplessness, pain, and anger I feel during this most difficult time.