This is my mom, Wynne Schafer.
It was in 2011 when we first learned about her diagnosis of COPD and only a year later, a terminal diagnosis of lung cancer. We knew the road we were about to travel together wasn’t going to be easy – my dad, her husband, had passed away in 2004 of the same illness. I knew she was anxious and remember feeling that I needed to do whatever I could to stay present in the moment with her and support her emotionally. Having had such a great experience with the Hospice Society in Langley in caring for her late husband, she suggested with connect with Cowichan Hospice for support.
My mom was courageous. She never shied away from speaking about her diagnosis and what was to come – she had been through it with my dad and knew what to expect in some ways. The whole experience made us grow the closest we’ve ever been as a mother and daughter. I knew wholeheartedly that she needed a lot of emotional support and we spent a lot of time talking about all that had already happened, and what was to come on her palliative journey.
One of the biggest blessings was the Hospice volunteers that came to see my mom in the hospital. Having the opportunity to talk with someone outside of friends and family was a welcomed connection. She loved to share stories and ask the volunteers about their lives. As her caregiver I too gained a lot from those visits; I learned about Cowichan Hospice and from there decided to reach out for support from the society and later became a volunteer. For my mom and I both, Cowichan Hospice was monumental in helping us cope with anticipatory grief and the palliative care process.
My mom was so full of love – even when she and I lived apart, she would call me every single birthday and sing Happy Birthday to me – she did that for all three of her daughters. With the support from myself, my sister, and other family friends as well as the staff at Cairnsmore, we lifted her spirits and helped her live life to the fullest.
I know our involvement with Cowichan Hospice brought her peace and ensured I was able to be the best caregiver I could be, right to the end of her journey. It was a roller coaster ride but we rode it together.
– Kim Andersson
At Cowichan Hospice, we have the opportunity to provide support and resources to individuals like Kim and her mom, Wynne. Our palliative supports include one-to-one emotional support, resources from our lending library, wellness treatments, home visits, and a visiting team at CDH. If you find yourself possibly facing a palliative journey, we invite you to call us at (250) 701 4242. Cowichan Hospice services are available free of charge to anyone in the Cowichan region.