I am writing in response to the articles written by Teresa McQuerrey about hospice.
We didn't expect to use hospice services when we moved to Payson in 2001. My husband and I retired in 2000 and spent a year trying to decide where we wanted to spend the rest of our lives. We had driven to Payson to visit friends and realized that Payson had everything we were looking for. We bought a house and settled in for what we expected to be our happy retirement.
Our life did not turn out the way we planned. We did love living here, but my husband started complaining about feeling ill. In early 2003, he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He struggled through chemotherapy and radiation treatment and after eight months, the doctor said, "It's time for hospice."
While my husband was still in the hospital, two very nice women came out to explain hospice services to my daughter and myself. When they left, my daughter said, "Mom, you have just seen two angels." That's how we thought of RTA Hospice here in Payson.
They were angels, from the people who answered the phone when I called for help, the CNAs who cut his toenails and helped him shower, to the doctor and nurse who came within minutes to the house, because my husband was having a bad reaction to some medication. The medical care and kindness from all we came in contact with, was excellent. I felt like we all were part of a team to help my husband on his last journey.
When his time came, they were here to help in any way they could. Afterward, I attended the grief support group, which helped me tremendously. Friends and family are sometimes uncomfortable when you try to talk about your loved one, after they've passed. I felt free to talk as much as I needed to with the group and the counselor.
Years before, my husband told me that if he ever became very ill and was dying, he did not want to be in a hospital. He wanted to come home to die. I admit that idea scared me a lot. Hospice changed my attitude completely. Dying is a part of living and we should be able to die in familiar surroundings.
We should have medication to keep us comfortable and we should feel the love of our family and friends. RTA Hospice made that possible.
Carleen Sigars, Payson