December 5, 2016 our family met with a cancer doctor. She confirmed our fears, our Judy had terminal cancer, giving her around six months to live. That doctor didn’t know the amount of character, strength and determination Judy had.
Hospice Services was mentioned at that appointment and we somewhat turned a deaf ear to that suggestion. We are a strong, private family. We’d handle this chapter ourselves at home just like Judy wanted.
Seven months later, Judy was still fighting the fight, teaching us all how to die with dignity mixed with a little humor. As a family, we decided it was time to allow Hospice in to her home and our lives. Hospice was called in and even though we were dealing with this demon called cancer, we are here to tell you, our lives changed for the better when they came on board.
Our hospice team from Phillipsburg consisted of a doctor who visited Judy a few times at her home, a nurse, a social worker and later, a grief support team. Bringing this team into our lives was the best decision we made through this thirteen month journey.
From July 2017 through January 4th, 2018, our team came twice a week, staying with us as long as we needed them. They helped us find medicines to help Judy as well as assisted each one of us deal with our emotions and on going grief through this dying process. Most importantly, this hospice team assisted in fulfilling Judy’s wish to stay home through the illness and to die in her home surrounded by family.
On January 4th, 2018, the Good Lord called Judy home. Our hospice doctor came to visit Judy in the morning, when Judy asked how long she had, he answered a few hours to a couple of days. Judy chose a few hours. Our hospice nurse was with her and the family for 24 hours. The nurse continued to medicate Judy to keep her comfortable and explained the changes we were seeing in Judy as well as helping us deal with the emotions we were all going through.
Death, as we all know, is unpleasant, whether it happens fast or slow. We encourage you to invite a hospice team into your home and your lives if you or a loved one is facing a terminal illness. You will not regret having a support team to help the patient and the family through the journey.
It has been four months since Judy left us and our grief support team continues to check in on us and will do so up to two years.
Thank you hospice, may God continue to guide you and strengthen you all as you act as angels on this Earth.
The family of Judy Phillips
Bert Phillips, Travis and Monique Phillips and family, Steven and Nikki Hausler and family