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Hospice Patient living life to the fullest

When Audrey Hediger first began receiving Hospice services, she figured that meant she would be dead in the next few weeks.

“I think that’s the idea most people have with Hospice,” Audrey said. Six months later and Audrey is still on Hospice services and is maintaining an active lifestyle.

Audrey, who has been battling Cancer since 2011 – though she went undiagnosed until 2014 – declined treatment after she left Rosewell.

“I was 83 and decided that I wasn’t going to go through that,” Audrey explained. She said she wanted to spend the rest of her time actually living and not feeling constantly sick from chemotherapy and radiation.

Though her cancer was spreading, Audrey is now almost 85 and is still managing to live her life as fully as possible. She participates in a Yoga class and an Aerobics class at her local gym once a week and has an interest in Tai Chi, which she says helps with her balance.

“I sometimes forget that I’m not 22,” she said with a laugh.

Audrey receives visits from a nurse and from Hospice social spiritual care workers once every other week and believes one of the best things about Hospice is the people she has met.

“I’ve made good friends through it,” she explained. “One of them enjoys Classical musical like I do and occasionally, he’ll bring me CDs. I had no idea Hospice was like that.” One of her visiting nurses always brings her a few servings of split pea soup for Audrey whenever she makes it for herself because she knows its Audrey’s favorite soup.

Only two months away from 85, Audrey is still living each day treatment free. She just had her six month evaluation and, while the cancer is still spreading, she is still refusing to undergo any sort of treatment. Audrey, who has five kids, 26 grandchildren and 46 great grandchildren, is choosing to live as long as she can with HomeCare & Hospice by her side to provide for any changing needs.

Audrey’s husband, who passed away in 1988, lived with a disability for 10 years before he died. At that time, Hospice wasn’t available, though she wishes he would have been able to receive the care she is receiving now.

“I’ve had a wonderful experience with Hospice so far,” she said.