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Sister sent home from hospital

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Hi All and thank you so much for you kind responses to my other posts. They were truly appreciated.

Beverly was sent home from the hospital on Saturday. Her counts were up and looking good..the doctor told her that she will have to eat and get built back up if she ever intends to get more chemo. I think he just said that to make her feel there is a chance. She has never lost her hope though. She is on the patch for pain..the doctor said that the cancer is back on her lung. Her breathing is hard. I don't really know how to explain or describe what she is going through now. I think the pain meds are helping to keep her numb through all of this..because she has hardly shed a tear. She sleeps a lot. We talked some..but not really, you know. I told her that I loved her..she kinda asked "why me" and I just told her that God knew she could handle it better than anyone else in our family could.

Honestly, I don't know if I am in denial or if she is going to get better and get over this hump, or if she is going to die soon.

I know she was really weak and I don't think she should have ever gotten that weak..but it is hard to know what to do.

The doctor suggested we think about Hospice..but at the same time he told her that if she opts for Hospice..she would have trouble with her insurance company, if somehow she builds back up to do more chemo, because for hospice to come in the doctor would have to say that she is uncurable or something to that effect and that her insurance will not cover her after that. (She is on blue cross==Cobra)..Anyone know if this is true, or did I hear wrong?

What about home health? From what I understand the dr. has to order this also??

I am kinda in a fog right now..I will try and keep in touch. I hope my writing made some sense.

Love to all,


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I'm glad your sister is out of the hospital - it always feels better to be home.

I would recommend checking to see if any hospitals in your area have a home health palliative care program. That is what my dad used. He had an incredible team of pain specialist doctors and nurses to manage his pain and other symptoms but he could still receive chemo and fight the cancer through his oncologist, who was still his primary doctor. The home health agency helped us get equipment like hospital beds and commodes, and also arranged for all of his pain meds to be delivered directly to the front door. The nurse came at least three or four times a week, more often when needed. It was the best thing that happened to our family.

If your sister is feeling weak you might also ask about TPN - total parenteral nutrition. It gives you the calories you need to keep from wasting when appetite is poor.

'Hope this helps! All the best to you and your sister. I know the uncertainty of how much time you have is hard but treasure every moment you do have.

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Bobby, I'm happy to hear your sister is home.

It's so much easier to rest and regain strength at home.

My mother was on BCBS-IL (cobra) and had hospice care. Her doctor said that to qualify she needed to have a life expectancy of less than 6 months. However, he also said that many patients live past that 6 month period and generally aren't "kicked" out of hospice. My mother was allowed to continue Tarceva,and we were told that she could stop hospice care at any time to pursue additional treatment. My father continued to pay the cobra premium and she was never in danger of losing her insurance.

I will say that bringing in hospice was the best thing we could have done and we're sorry we didn't do it sooner.

Sending prayers your way.

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