Ruth Carson's room at the Garden Estates of Tyler is crammed full of photographs of her children, grandchildren and friends.
The retired registered nurse should know. She joined the Cadet Nurse Corps during World War II and worked as a school nurse in Brady for 27 years after the war ended. Mrs. Carson said that before her illness, she enjoyed life, was active in her church and enjoyed socializing. The Hospice volunteers have been able to help her to feel less isolated, she said.
One of the volunteers who visits Mrs. Carson is a retired nurse who comes by about once a week. “It's almost like I wasn't even in the room,” said Pam Moorman, community outreach coordinator for the Hospice. She said the two connected very well in their conversation.
Mrs. Carson talked about relatives attending her summer birthday party and her attendance at a ceremony to see her grandson become an Eagle Scout.
After she underwent three surgeries in an eight-month period, the family decided it would be best to move Mrs. Carson to Tyler. After receiving the cancer diagnosis, Jennifer Carson said the family wanted to get Hospice involved in her mother-in-law's care to make sure Mrs. Carson had what she needed. “We are not doing radiation or chemo, and we just want to make sure she's comfortable,” Jennifer Carson said. She added that the Hospice care has been a blessing.
About once a week, Barbara Wedgeworth, nurse case manager for the Hospice, visits Mrs. Carson in her room at Garden Estates, checks her vital signs and makes sure Mrs. Carson's pain and nausea are controlled. Ms. Wedgeworth also chats with her patient.
“She has always been the caregiver, and it has been very difficult for her to receive the care,” Jennifer Carson said.
But Mrs. Carson said she feels peaceful about what is to come because she had a vision about a year ago when she was very ill and in the intensive care unit at Mother Frances Hospital.
“I dreamed I was in a beautiful place with many flowers and I saw Jesus there. I told him that I had not been a very good Christian, and asked if I could come into the garden and he said, 'Sure.' I could hear a hammer, and Jesus said he was building my mansion next to James Dale and Dot.”
James Dale was Mrs. Carson's husband of 45 years and passed away 20 years ago, and Dot was a good friend with whom she went to nursing school in Austin. Dot passed away two years ago from brain cancer.
“That gave her such a sense of peace that she has not lost,” Jennifer Carson said.