Hospice Care is primarily comfort care.Ronnie was not going to beat this cancer so he had no therapeutic treatment. Mild pain meds were all he needed to keep him comfortable initially.
The growth of the tumors in his brain were causing confusion and memory issues for Ronnie which were evident at his original diagnosis. The doctors in the first hospital prescribed dexamethasone, a steroid which helped with inflammation and slowed the growth of his brain cancer. The hospice doctors decided to continue this treatment and it made a huge difference in his ability to think, reason, and remember for several months.
All things considered Ronnie’s care was adequate for his needs for about 3 months. We were rocking along.
The phone call that day from Ronnie’s friend brought with it the realization that the end had probably begun for Ronnie. He had had a minor wreck that day. When the police arrived, Ronnie did not know his name or where he lived. He could not even communicate in a complete sentence. Something serious was wrong.
Ronnie never married and had no children. As the oldest of his nieces and nephews, I was the one contacted that day. Immediately I called the hospital where Ronnie had been taken. The hospital personnel was thrilled that I called because they had not been able to contact any of Ronnie’s family.
After transfer to two other hospitals and various tests, it was concluded that Ronnie had metastatic cancer, which began in his lungs and then spread to his lymph nodes and brain. The third hospital to which Ronnie had been transferred was the VA hospital in Albuquerque.
Nest post: My solo trip to Albuquerque.