for the best, preparing for the worst
the same time, he received intensive supportive care at home. Through
frequent house calls and phone checks, a nurse, Connie Kishbaugh,
and social worker, Sheila Enders, monitored and helped manage his
pain and other physical symptoms, and kept watch for signs of depression
and anxiety. They gently insisted he develop an advance medical
directive, write a trust and get his financial and emotional affairs
in order. Kishbaugh and Enders also extended support to Templeman’s
family, guiding them through decisions about treatment options,
steering them to appropriate resources and ensuring they didn’t
neglect their own health.
It was Kishbaugh who convinced Pauline Temple- man, Robert’s
wife of 54 years, to seek a second doctor’s opinion about
her persistent hoarseness and fatigue. By cruel coincidence, Pauline,
too, was diagnosed with a terminal illness — advanced esophageal
cancer. When the couple became too ill to remain in their own home
in El Dorado Hills, they moved in with daughter Kathryn and son-in-law
Lee Rees in Gold River.
Palliative care, which continued through Temple- man’s participation
in the clinical trial, was a godsend for the Reeses. “It was
a rare privilege to care for my parents,” she says. “But
there was a lot of uncertainty. You hope and pray you’re properly
caring for them and honoring them, but there was a lot of doubt.
Without Connie and Sheila’s support, I would have felt wildly
Bob and Polly Templeman died within six weeks of each other, he
on Oct. 28, 2000, she on Dec. 21. He was 81. She was 78.
“Their spiritual journey home was very moving, and a very
precious gift to have witnessed,” Rees says. “During
their time with us, neither one had a hair on their head, nor an
eyelash. But they sat with each other on the sofa, holding hands,
smiling and laughing. They had side-by-side hospital beds. They
had a very profound marriage, and they became even closer during
this. They were prepared to die, and they did so with great dignity.
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