Care and Comfort to Say Goodbye
For Santa Clarita’s Stephen Dixon and his family, Holy Cross served as a safe and caring place where they could say good-bye to Brenda – wife, mother, grandmother and friend.
Steve knew his wife’s battle with cancer had weakened her when he took her to the emergency room in February. Brenda, 61, had been diagnosed four years earlier with aggressive stage-four breast cancer, which had metastasized to the bone. There had been other trips to the emergency room, but Steve knew this one was different. It was still a shock to hear the doctor say Brenda’s condition had significantly worsened and she was nearing the end-of-life.
Brenda was given a large room on the oncology floor so her family and friends could visit and be comfortable. A group from The Master’s College came to sing and pray for her. Brenda was a gifted musician and taught music at the college. She loved making an investment in the lives of young people.
Perhaps Brenda’s greatest joy was the presence of six month-old grandbaby Isaiah. “Some of the nurses who had previously cared for Brenda came to see her,” says Steve. “The hospital was so cooperative and Brenda was calm and peaceful. Holy Cross is just a great place to get medical assistance, and in our case, a great place to say good-bye.”
Studies show most Americans would like to spend their final days at home, surrounded by those they love. At Holy Cross, compassionate care doesn’t end when a treatment is unsuccessful. Comforting patients at their most vulnerable point in life is a natural extension of the Providence mission.
“It is an honor to care for families like the Dixons. Their experience demonstrates how palliative care can take a very unsettling and stressful time and transition it into a time of shared encounters with love, laughter and tears.”