I learned last week that my friend L., who had been sent home to hospice care earlier this month, passed away. She died at home, with her partner close at hand. Her family had all been in to visit and say goodbye, although L. was not very responsive in her last days.
The social worker who runs my support group told us that when the doctor says s/he has no more treatment options to offer, some people relax into hospice care and fade quickly. Certainly we who have advanced cancer are living longer with our disease; our dying seems to be comparably shortened.
L. was one year older than I, had been living with metastatic breast cancer for one year longer than I have.
Last week I told my oncologist I was coming up on 5 years living with mets. His response? "That's your first five year anniversary." If he has hope, then how can I not?
By the way, my (younger) friend E. is still hanging in there...