The WE Have Cancer podcast turns to a topic we’ve never discussed before: Hospice and palliation. With Jeff Shufelt as our guest, Lee dives into hospice’s meaning and the misconceptions about hospice care.
While it’s a frightening topic that’s hard to discuss, Lee talks to Jeff about his decision to go from treatment to home hospice and how that’s improved his quality of life. From what is hospice care compared to palliative care, to how the decision has impacted his family, this episode is all about how hospice could be the right decision even earlier than you might think.
Jeff Shufelt has Stage 4 colorectal cancer. After trying different treatment options, Jeff came to the realization hospice care was the right and smart move for him. Looking to improve his quality of life rather than getting more time but being unable to enjoy that time due to treatment, the decision to move into palliation and home hospice has been the right one for Jeff.
Table of contents:
- Introduction to Jeff Shufelt
Lee introduces Jeff, his story with colorectal cancer and the decision to seek out home hospice.
- The bucket list
Jeff got a chance to take his son out on the water for a fishing trip, leading to a discussion about bucket lists and how he got the diagnosis.
- The diagnosis
Jeff shares his story about first getting diagnosed with cancer, being given two years. Jeff talks about his path to additional opinions, surgery, and several NEDs (no evidence of disease).
- What is hospice care?
Jeff and Lee talk about what is hospice care in order to debunk the misconceptions about palliative care.
- What does hospice mean for you?
Hospice doesn’t necessarily mean someone is going to pass immediately. Jeff talks about how long he’s been on hospice care and what palliation looks like for him personally, including painkillers and increasing his quality of life.
- Making the decision to do home hospice
Jeff talks about why he decided to do hospice care as a way to improve his quality of life. With few options available to improve the amount of time he has left and a desire to make memories rather than be in treatment, Jeff decided palliation was the right fit for him and his family.
- The impact of the hospice decision on a family
With his mind made up, Jeff opens up about his family’s reaction to his decision to move into palliation and home hospice care.
- Getting support
Building a support network through this fight is an important part of the process. Jeff and Lee talk about how the Colorectal Cancer Alliance helped make connections and gave him more insight into treatment options.
- Hospice care vs. Palliation
Jeff and Lee talk about the differences between hospice and palliative care. From managing pain, management of your care, and support to help you get through each day; both hospice and palliative care help you in different ways.
- The emotional rollercoaster of care
Jeff shares a story of being brought in to potentially join a new drug trial only to waste his time. Jeff talks about the highs of hope to the dread of wasting time he doesn’t have.
- When to go into hospice care
Despite still having hope, Jeff opens up about the decision to go into hospice earlier than most in an effort to build memories with his family instead of spending that valuable time trying to chase a cure.
Links mentioned in the show:
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