The Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation has partnered with Hair for Hope, an advocacy of HEADS by volu-Med Salon and The European Hair Factory, Inc. that produces wigs with hair donations for the benefit of cancer patients. The hospice partakes in their advocacy by introducing its project “Hair4Care” that aims to encourage more people to become hair donors and to introduce more beneficiaries to the partner organization, including our own hospice. Giving a portion of your hair will give a full serving of hope to others! For further inquiries, you may message us here in our Facebook page or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the pandemic, I still get to meet and chat with my hospice patient online. I delight in listening to her and hearing her stories. She used to tell me how her husband and kids never complain while taking care of her. How she wants to help doing the house chores, but they insist for her to take a rest. That her youngest finally got a job and helps in buying her medicines. She is very grateful for her loving family.
She thanks God for providing their needs. That her strength comes from God alone. She is asking God to extend her life so she could spend more time with them. We always end our meetings by praying together. Being her volunteer, I wanna be present however I can. And all I wanna do is make her days a little more special. I want her to know that she is not alone in this.
I have developed a unique friendship with her and must keep in mind that it might be for just a short period of time. The end of life is hard, but it can also be beautiful. I view this journey with more gratitude because I’ve been beyond blessed to know her.
#HospiceDiaries #ValueofFamily #GratefultoGod #WorthofFriendship
Some people think that when one chose to be a nurse, the ultimate goal is to find work overseas, where opportunities for health professionals are great and the good life, as it is commonly perceived, reachable. But my dream is different. As a young girl, I already have visions of being a nurse who does community work. I have always wanted to care for the marginalized in society, a special kind of nurse.
When I joined Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation six years ago, I had no inkling that it would be the realization of my youthful dream. I call it cruising in the life of angels. My parents discouraged me at first, realizing the rigors of the job. They were afraid that exposure to terminally ill patients, in not so ideal settings, sometimes far flung, will make me vulnerable to diseases and even, accidents. But soon it was apparent, how I love my job. I enjoy caring for them in their own home, meeting their families and knowing them not as mere patients. Often, we end up friends.
But the returns are exceptional. Priceless. Knowing you made the last days of a dying person happy and comfortable is a good feeling already. However, the extra benefits are the personal gains, like improved self-confidence, sociability and creativity. It taught me to conquer my fears, embrace life, content in the knowledge that somehow, the reason for MY existence is being met.
And there is icing on the cake too. My other dream is to travel, go to places I see only in magazines and the internet. With my paycheck I know that travel is not possible, but God is good. Maybe my angels had something to do with it. Because now, I am able to go places, enjoy them with family and friends.
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.”
A journey of faith is exactly what I am experiencing as a Hospice volunteer. Since I joined the Madre de Amor Hospice Foundation in 1994, all of the patients I was assigned to visit taught me lessons that helped me grow in my faith. Being a Hospice volunteer helped me a lot in cultivating a closer relationship with my Creator, my fellowmen, as well as with my inner self.
To be able to visit my patients and their families, to be able to look with sympathy into the pain mirrored in their eyes, to be able to reach out and touch them, to say hopeful words of assurance that God’s love is real and full of compassion, to be able to verbalize for them thoughts that otherwise would remain unspoken, all these were opportunities for me to encounter the “distressing disguise of Christ” in the person of each of my dying patients, who were “ the least of my brethren.”
Because of the spiritual opportunities Hospice work is giving me, I hope to remain a hospice volunteer for as long as my strength and health will permit me. The journey of faith continues…..