During this time of a global pandemic, there are limits on how many people can visit patients in the hospital. With a family of five children, two spouses, and one fiance the visitation restrictions are a barrier to easy access. In addition to the family, I wish that friends can easily visit.
My solution is to die at home. There are some arrangements to make with the funeral home and family physician to expedite the removal of my remains and when I investigated, the best option is to register with Palliative Care at the QEII. They can take care of and expedite all the arrangements.
In the big scheme of things, this is a good solution. As my cancer spreads, I will be tired more of the time, have a reduced appetite, and my organs will become diseased and not function as they should. There will be numerous noticeable physical changes and an obvious degradation of my energy level as described in an article I wrote a while back titled Death and Dying.
At this point, I will not have any active treatment with the exception of meds to help me be more comfortable and manage pain should that become a problem. My expectation is that I will be pretty healthy until my organs, especially my liver and then my kidneys, begin to fail. At that point in time, I will find it too challenging to be out-and-about. I will be at home most of the time. I suspect I will have to stop driving around that time. My hope is that I can still be active at home, cook, host meals, and have lots of company.
I will need nursing care to augment what Janet and others can offer. Our insurance will cover this up to a point but does not fund round-the-clock care which I expect to need as cancer spreads and my body is on a path to death.
At that point, the best solution is to move to the Hospice on Franklyn Street. Janet will be able to sleep in my room and family and friends can visit around the clock although there is a two-person limit on how many people can be in my room at the same time. That two-person rule is relaxed when my death is clearly imminent so anyone wishing to be present at the moment can be.
There are several common spaces that are quite comfortable for the family and can easily accommodate our children, spouses, and fiance. There is a well-equipped kitchen in the “Great Room” where a meal could be made or reheated.
The Hospice is an excellent final destination for me and where I expect to die surrounded by loved ones.