A trip to Key West, Florida. A weekend at Rough River Lodge. A reunion with 20 high school classmates. Cheering for the University of Louisville men’s basketball team from a midcourt suite at the YUM Center.
That all sounds like fun, right? What it might not sound like are the adventures of someone who’s dealing with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. But Albert Steiger and his wife, Pam, are determined to not let his illness get in the way of creating more moments like these.
“We are very grateful that we’ve been able to make new, special memories along with people we love and cherish,” Albert says. “Those are the types of things that are so meaningful to us right now.”
He says that is thanks in large part to Hosparus Health.
Albert and Pam have always enjoyed staying active, camping in Kentucky’s parks and traveling across the country. They recently celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary, and their blended family includes four children and nine grandchildren. Albert retired in 2001 after 25 years in the insurance business, but kept busy with family, volunteering and church activities.
When he went into the hospital for chest pains earlier this year, he and Pam were shocked to learn he had terminal cancer. They were fearful the diagnosis meant they would no longer be able to do the things they loved.
“The doctor said my time was limited, and even with treatment, it would only extend my life by a couple of months,” Albert says. “Pam and I agreed we would rather have a good quality of life during the time we have left and not spend it sick in the hospital.”
When they decided to discontinue chemotherapy, Albert’s doctor recommended they call Hosparus Health. He was admitted to our care Oct. 10.
“Hospice care has given us a sense of peace of knowing they are there for us and our family whenever we need them,” Albert says. The support the Steigers have received has been a huge blessing, especially during all their recent adventures.
Albert’s nurse made sure he and Pam had a plan of action in case his health declined while they were on vacation. His care team was just a phone call away at all times, and they were available to coordinate with out-of-town providers if necessary. “It gave us a sense of safety and security to know we had people we could call even when we were away from home,” he says.
Now back at their home in Southwest Louisville, Albert says he and Pam are focused on making sure his final journey goes as smoothly as possible. “I want it to be peaceful for not only myself, but also for my family.” Hosparus Health is helping to make that possible. “I think they’re amazing people, and the service they provide — I prefer to call it their ministry to us — it’s just priceless,” Albert says.
“There is never going to be enough time, but you can make the most of the time that you have,” he adds. “That time has been made more joyful by the fact that we feel the support of Hosparus Health.”
*This story was originally published in December 2019. Albert and Pam made the most of their time together until he passed away in March 2020. Our hearts go out to his entire family.
To help other families like the Steigers create more moments together, please consider making a gift. A donation in any amount will ensure Hosparus Health’s expert hospice and palliative care is available to all who need it. Click here.