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    CathysSis wrote on dbain1990's wall

    I posted her updates, thank you for asking. Best wishes for your recovery xo

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    CathysSis shared an experience

    Loss (Lost loved one): Cathy lost her fight with cancer August 24th 2012. She and her daughter had been with us for 3 months. My husband and I held her hand as 3 Elizabeth hospice staff and a wonderful volunteer, Annie, watched over her.

    Annie sat with her the day before, while we worked (from home) and Cathy's daughter started her 1st day of 11 grade at her new school. I had been laying bandanas wetted in ice baths over Cathys, head, arms, legs and neck for about 5 days. She had stopped talking or communicating 3 days ago. Annie told me my niece and I should say our goodbyes that night so Cathy could move on. I explained to my niece and she was very strong for a 16 year old (She had been looking after her mom for 3 years on her own). We both told Cathy how much we loved her and would miss her, but wanted her to relax and let go.

    Cathy died the next day while her daughter was at school. We already had a support team in place at my niece's school (school counselor notified all her teachers about her mom's status and that she may have to leave suddenly). The Hospice grief counselor also happened to be with us.

    I would just like for people reading this to know that Cathy was very angry with family members who she felt did not step up to help in various ways. The last month she was with us, she was practically mute. I asked my niece why and she said, 'My mom said if she can't say anything nice, she wasn't going to say anything at all.'

    I hope anyone in their final stages can try to understand that everyone does what they can, everyone deals with loss differently, some pull away because they're afraid, I did with my maternal grandmother's death. I wish we had left Cathy home alone with a grief counselor, instead of abiding by her wishes. But like I said everyone deals with death differently. I hope anyone reading this who is angry at a loved one, tries to put it aside.

    I am just so glad I had my husband to help me through this and to be there for Cathy too, especially since she never had a man in her life worth calling a man.

    Cathy was a wise woman in many ways, one decision she made was to move in with us when we offered, which was during last summer, so our niece could go to band camp (the 'biggest gang on campus') and make friends before starting at a school new to her.

    We have Cathy's ashes in her daughter room. We fought for (dad's in jail) and became my niece's legal guardians last month. I can say we miss her mom, my sis, deeply, but Cassandra is seeing a grief counselor for free for a year thanks to the hospice and she has a sweet boyfriend and loads of friends at school who are a joy in her life.

    I hope, if Cathy can see how her daughter is being care for, she is happy and content.

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    CathysSis shared an experience

    Other Care (Hospice): Once Cathy resigned herself to the fact it was her only option if she stopped chemo, and Elizabeth Hospice came, we all realised how wonderful they are. They helped us keep Cathy free from pain, and counseled all of us, except Cathy (her wishes).

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    CathysSis shared an experience

    Decision Point (No more chemo, Start Hospice care from home): This was hard for Cathy to do, she was very afraid of hospice. She just couldn't face anymore chemo. Hospice went into action later that day, eventually they made Cathy more comfortable with a hospital bed, a wheelchair, various types of mattresses for comfort. All the right meds and instructions for us on how to give them for MUCH better pain control.

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    CathysSis shared an experience

    Drug or Chemo Therapy (Chemotherapy): Very sick, could barely eat, lost 60 lbs in 3 months. She also had the pockets (3) around her tumor drained 3 times. This ended up being her last chemo treatments

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    CathysSis shared an experience

    Decision Point (Moved in with us): She realised she couldn't raise her daughter and do chemo too. They moved in with us.