Last spring my mother suddenly fell very ill. For weeks in the hospital the doctors did not suggest palliative care, but I wanted to cover all the possible bases so I followed a friend’s recommendation and I called Janet at Santa Fe Palliative Care. Janet was supremely helpful and listened to all my concerns. Even though I wasn’t sure if my mother would need her organization’s services she spent more time talking with me than any of my mother’s doctors. She reassured me that if needed palliative care could be quickly organized, which gave me great relief.
And, I had no idea how quickly my mom would need care. She went to a hospital in Albuquerque where she was finally diagnosed with end stage pancreatic cancer. The doctor there told me she had days, not weeks to live. I immediately called Janet and told her I wanted to bring my mom home. With in a day she arranged for two brilliant palliative care people to be with my mom and I.
Lydia Perez was with my mother during the day. She is has an innate knowledge of what both my mother and I needed. Her calm and centered manner brought peace during an incredibly difficult time. Margaret who is a trained nurse arrived each evening and her soothing presence allowed me to sleep. For her last few days my mom was far more peaceful than she had ever been in the hospital. After several grueling weeks she was set free surrounded by beauty of the human spirit for which I am eternally grateful.
I can’t thank Lydia and Janet enough for encouraging me and supporting me with care, food, and most of all for your support in making decisions on my travels. Family time is what I needed the most. You were right. All is going well.
Thank you again for everything.
con todo el Corazon. Manuel Suarez
Dear Community Palliative Care of Northern New Mexico,
Our family will always be grateful for the quality of life you helped my father enjoy. He received excellent support from your team and you guided our family through his maze of providers and paperwork. Your knowledge helped us all through the constantly shifting reality of elder care, gently introducing us to each next answer as new questions arose. We did not have to re-invent the care-giving wheel because you knew what best to do in every situation. Your Volunteers are the heart-beat of the organization! So kind and calm and knowledgeable. Thanks to all of you, we were able to enjoy Dad until his timely referral to Hospice.
I helped to care for Marcia in the last ten months of her life, and we also became close friends. She was a remarkable person with amazing energy, inner strength and courage; she had a fascinating life and her achievements were both significant and prolific. She fearlessly endured an onslaught of health challenges and her mind remained sharp and clear through most of them. She was focused on completing her final book of photographs before passing away, and it was both an honor and a privilege to help her accomplish this goal.
(Deborah – volunteer for Marcia)
The Community Palliative Care organization has made all the difference in my life. My nurse arranged for volunteer supporters to help me in my illness. They have taken me to the doctor, done shopping for me, and have even helped me get my photographs organized for a book I want to complete. They have all been like new friends that make my life and problems better.
My mother, a Santa Fe resident for 23 years, was a patient with Community Palliative Care for a year and a half until she passed away from lymphoma. My mother was not seeking treatment, yet blood transfusions that kept her functioning, denied her access to hospice. Her nurse made frequent visits to her house offering guidance to medications, emotional support, and end-of-life counseling. This support allowed her to stay in her home with a professional to call at any hour during that fragile time when her health was failing. I hope the community understands the role of this program and fully supports their efforts.
Shortly after finishing the palliative volunteer training, I was assigned to my first client. I admit I was apprehensive about what I was facing. But as the days, weeks and months went by I discovered we had formed a friendship. In the beginning I not only drove him to his doctor appointments but to the grocery store, and out to lunches I found that we shared a love of jazz. I learned how to make his breakfast eggs the way he liked them. As his health declined we had less ventures outside but my appreciation of him, his stories of his life and his sense of humor has left a definite place in my memory that will be with me forever.