By Jennifer L. Boen | (This article appeared previously in the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel/New America Media.)
“Rozanne and Gerald Hallman were thrust unexpectedly and severely into the land of the seriously ill when, in late 2011, Gerald, a retired pastor, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He underwent surgery to remove as much tumor as possible, but the procedure left him paralyzed on one side.
“‘They said [his tumor] was a bad one,’ Rozanne recalled. Many questions and decisions faced the rural Steuben County, Ind., couple.
“When Gerald’s physicians discussed options and next steps, palliative care was among them. Rozanne, a retired teacher, was familiar with hospice, but unaware of palliative care as a specialized service that helps improve quality of life without necessarily abandoning curative treatment.
“In medical school, the very little I got about suffering and death ill-prepared me for what I would encounter.” — Dr. Andrew Esch, Center to Advance Palliative Care
“‘I didn’t have a clue,’ she said, but added that through those services, ‘our every need was met.’
“Multiple studies show that, compared to awareness of hospice, “There’s significantly less familiarity with palliative care,” said Dr. Lyle Fettig, director of Indiana University School of Medicine’s Hospice and Palliative Medicine Fellowship program centered in Indianapolis.”