I recently submitted a letter along with information on a book I wrote, Hospice: The Last Responder. It is a guide for patients and families to know their rights regarding hospice care — an easy read and funny in some aspects.
As life would have it, not long after the book was published, I was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, pulmonary fibrosis, and have not very long to live. I choose to be an advocate for those who cannot fight for themselves who I witnessed for so long as a hospice nurse, and for our veterans, of which I am both.
I've written an epilogue for the book, sharing some of what I've learned now as a hospice patient and including a few tips for dealing with the mental effects of being diagnosed with a terminal illness. For instance, forgive yourself and others for what has happened in the past — you cannot change it. And have fun and enjoy every second you have left with your family. Don't forget to tell them you love them every day.
Thank you for helping me get the word out. I was able to accomplish the many things in life because of the outstanding education I received at UNT.
Ellen Muckenhirn Windham ('11)