N HOSPICE CARE, we are privileged to be a
part of some of the most special moments in our patients’ lives.
I would like to share just one of many.
One of our patients was a 33-year-old woman who had been admitted
with breast cancer. She had a very loving and supportive family.
Her husband, son, daughter and mom all took part in caring for her.
I will call her ‘Sara.’ When we admitted Sara to Hospice,
our goal was to get her pain in control. Her pain was so intense
at times she would go into a frenzy of screaming and crying.
worked closely with her physician and made frequent changes to her
medications, and after a period of time, Sara’s pain was under
control. Her husband decided to take her on a trip to Hawaii. He
told us he wanted to plan something for her that would bring her
joy. He brought tickets for all the familyincluding Sara’s
We feared that Sara’s pain might return and prayed that she and
her family could enjoy their trip to Hawaiia dream of a lifetime
for them. They made the trip and came back to tell how beautiful
it was, and how great it had been to go and make memories that would
last forever. The next day, Sara broke out in shingles and experienced
more episodes of severe pain.
As Sara’s condition rapidly declined, her pain was controlled by
a morphine drip. She was alert to the very end. Her family was at
her side when she stopped breathing. Sara was gone, her life was
over and her family grieved. But nothing can ever take away memories
of Saraa wife, mother, daughter and a tourist in Hawaii weeks
before her battle with cancer ended her life.
Doris Dollins, RN
Hospice clinical supervisor
CHRISTUS St. Joseph’s Health System