December 28th, 1986 changed the lives of my two daughters, our family, and me. My husband at the age of 41 was diagnosed with cancer in November of 1985 and died on December 28th, 1986. Bob and I had been married 20 years. We enjoyed a wonderful marriage full of love, fun, and quality time with our two daughters.
Bob was employed with RBW in Owen Sound, had never been sick a day in his life until he was diagnosed with cancer. I was told Bob was terminal and kept this information to myself, as Bob had the hope he would beat cancer. It is not easy to watch the man die, that you have loved for years and not be able to make him better.
Bob lived a year and I was fortunate enough to have been allowed a leave of absence for three months from my position at the City of Owen Sound, to care for Bob at home. Our daughters were 15 and 12 when Bob came home from the hospital and we prepared a room, where he could entertain guests and still be very much a part of our daily lives.
I was introduced to palliative care at this point in Bob’s life. Having been trained in the Owen Sound hospital to give Bob morphine by a needle into a shunt in his back, I was allowed to keep him at home. Nurse Jean was the palliative nurse who arrived on a regular base to our home. She taught me a lot about caring for Bob and also was a tremendous support to me personally. Nurse Jean had a wonderful sense of humour, was caring to Bob, and listen to me when I needed someone to talk to and after Bob’s death, she continued to follow up with me for a year, just to ensure the girls and I were doing okay.
Not everyone has the opportunity to die at home, so I realized the importance of having a local hospice! After Bob’s death, I did take hospice training and for a number of years, I sat with dying individuals in the hospital.
We have excellent care at GBHS hospitals, but Chapman House provides a totally different environment for the patient. As a founding member of the Chapman House, I fully support the need of having hospice, where a person dies with dignity, surrounded by caring staff and the love of their family. Supporting Hospice care is important and that is the reason that I am pleased to be able to assist in the funding of Chapman House with a monthly donation. I encourage all residents of Grey and Bruce Counties to support Chapman House, as your support will enable Chapman House to provide excellent care to patients and their families.
I sincerely thank the doctors, nurses and all staff at the Chapman Hospice for their care and assistance to patients and their families during COVID 19.