My first year as a volunteer doctor for the Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation has been quite an experience. When I became a volunteer doctor, I knew that I would be facing a lot of challenging cases. It was after all, part of what I had trained for during my fellowship in PGH. But despite the preparation that my training supposedly gave me, every week with the patients have always been new opportunities to learn.
I remember having to go to one of the far flung barangays in Calauan. The pineapple fields and grazing horses provided a very pretty backdrop to the gruesome case of nasopharyngeal cancer that our patient had. The contrast was shocking first, but proved to be worthy case to test and use the skills I had learned to address the concerns the patient had.
I find the process of addressing the concerns of the patient and the family to be something of a reward in itself. The unique places faces are like notes in the melody that as hospice care providers we try to play with in harmony.
And as I look forward to many more years with the staff , volunteers and patients of the hospice, I pray for all of us to remember the message in Galatians Chapter 6, verse 9: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”