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Pure Horror

My wife died 31/01/2018 of breast cancer. Her terminal stages had taken 5 years after about 22 yrs 'remission'.

In her final stage she took 12 weeks to die - 'too slowly' to be permitted to remain in the Modbury hospital palliative care ward (hospice) therefore we spent her last 7 weeks in the nearby nursing home within our retirement village.

I say 'we' because of necessity I spent over 12 hours per day with her doing everything for her - toileting, chasing food, feeding, chasing pain medication (when her pump was running out).

Her GP visited most evenings - our minister most weeks.

The nursing home was short of staff - they got her up in the morning, washed and dressed her & from then it was up to me. They did try to send me home!

Fortunately I am tall & was able to lift her myself. Two staff would have been necessary and were just not available.

The staff had little knowledge of palliative care & took no responsibility for her.

I had the community palliative care team visit her when she started there but they didn't offer any help so I didn't call them to her again till her final days. This time she was given her final medications and mercifully died a day or two later.

I did learn a few things which would help if my new wife was placed in this position. However I may not by then be physically strong enough to repeat my caring role.

If I am the patient my wife will be unable to care for me in that way.

This experience, as well as being quite cruel on my wife, has left me severely psychologically and emotionally scarred - quite unavoidably (and I have a psych degree myself).

I hope to die quickly when my time comes.

Don't we all?

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