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  • Mitch Ware

Episode 1: Meet Mitch Ware, and Living With Hospice

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

In this first episode you get to meet Mitch Ware, discover his personal story; hear the mission of this podcast and get information on how you can send in Hospice related questions for Mitch and his team to answer for you. 

I've seen how hospice works from the caregiver and or client side of things. I've been a volunteer for about six or seven years, and I have a pretty good feel on how things work on the inside - the good, the bad and everything in between.


Hello and welcome to the very first episode of Living With Hospice. My name's Mitch Ware, and I'll be your host. Come on in. Grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and let's get to know each other a little better. You might have noticed as you walked in a great big dog. His name's Cosmo, actually to Cosmo Kramer. We call him Cosmo for short. He's half Irish, will found in half Alaskan, husky or so we've been told. And, ah, there's also a black and white cat running around here. That's Ah, boss Cat. we call him Charlie, and he's kind of the mayor of the neighborhood. And if you're lucky, you might see an orange kitty.  her name is Chloe, and ah, she usually stays out of the way of Charlie and Cosmo. But from time to time she'll make an appearance. So come on in and make yourself at home. You know, clean. As much as this is our very first episode, let me share with you who I am and why I'm here and what I hope to accomplish with this podcast.  I'm a long time volunteer I've had experience with several hospice organizations in the past 12 years or so. My first experience was that of a caregiver. I've seen how hospice works from the caregiver and or client side of things. I've been a volunteer for about six or seven years, and I have a pretty good feel on how things work on the inside. You know, the good, the bad and everything in between. I have also going back to the very beginning. Ah began to do some research and and studied Ah, hospice and palliative care. We went back to its origins, and I understand the philosophy of palliative care and hospice care. And quite frankly, ah, that's why I eagerly participate today is a bedside musician and also in that capacity beaning what we call a friendly visitor, as you could imagine I've fielded many, many, many questions over the years and gotten into some pretty interesting conversations over the years, with lots of friends and acquaintances and even strangers. And for the most part, I've discovered that most folks are either misinformed by you know, well meaning friends or that ah, lot of people just want basic information and they don't have it. So they're a little naive or just lacking in information. And, ah, some of them are even afraid.  too ask because they don't want Thio didn't want to get sold on anything. A lot of times, when you go into doctors, offices or clinics, you'll you'll see some literature from a particular hospice. And some people are turned off by that. They think it's some kind of a sales pitch or, you know, basically it's a marketing piece and that's how hospice gets their word out. But some people just aren't aren't ah, happy working with something like that. And they would rather talk to someone they know and trust that has had that that hospice experience. So right up front, let me assure you of a couple things. Number one. I'm I'm not sponsored. I'm not affiliated with any organization as in regards to this podcast.  I'm not selling anything. We're here just to fill a void on the information highway regarding hospice in hospice care or palliative care.  our goal is to just get you straight, honest answers and ah, bring you timely information that we think you might find helpful in Interesting. Also, let me say that I am not a doctor. I'm not a nurse. I'm not a social worker, a therapist, a counselor. I'm not a financial expert relative to hospice. I'm a long term volunteer who knows a lot, but doesn't know everything. And so you heard me Use the word we so far in this podcast. And the wee refers to the people that we will bring on that I will bring onto the podcast to answer some of the tougher questions that might be a little bit outside my comfort zone. And,  there are some issues like that, especially when we get into the psychology of  dealing with the emotions or the finances or the medical diagnosis. Those types of things will bring someone on who is a doctor or a nurse or a practitioner and allow them to give you the answers that you seek. Now, each episode is going to evolve around a specific topic. So you condone a search and find the topic that you want and go right to that episode. At least that's the way we intend to set things up. The mission of this podcast is to reach out to folks who are considering or who are maybe currently in hospice care we hope to get. Ah, we hope to get to be a good source for you for good, timely information. At the end of each podcast, we're going to include a email address that you can use to write down your questions. And maybe if you wanna send us a photograph, our scan in a particular document or something and you're not sure how to proceed with a particular situation, just write it up. Send us an e mail, and we will get the best answer we can to you as quickly as we can. Also, in each episode, we'll probably have an interesting story.  you're gonna want to hear today's story, that's for sure. But we'll try to end each podcast with an interesting story of how hospice has made a difference in someone's life and believe you, me, we could we could do that all day long. We've got a 1,000,000 wonderful stories that I think you'll find encouraging and informative. We've set up these podcasts in sort of a logical order and ah, we're going to start at the very beginning in the first. Ah, puke podcasts we're going to talk about. Well, what is hospice? How does hospice work? What is palliative care? Who pays for all of this? How can I pay for it if I don't have money? How can I pay for it if I don't have insurance? , I'm not able to move my loved one from her home or his home into a hospital or a nursing care. Then what? And there's just the questions. There's hundreds of them that I've heard from people over the years and we're going to We're going to tackle some of the more interesting ones and certainly the more common questions. And, ah, each episode I think you'll find informative and hopefully encouraging and maybe even a little bit entertaining, especially if ah, Cosmo or Charlie make an appearance, as they've been known to do when we have company in the house, anyway topics are abundant, and we want to cover the topics that you want to know about. We want to hear your questions. We want to know what's on your mind. So get a pencil or a pen and a piece of paper and write this down. You can send your hospice related questions to living with hospice at gmail dot com. That's living with hospice. All one word at gmail dot com. And I promise you we will review all of the questions and we'll try to answer them right here on this podcast in a future episode. As we wrap things up, let me leave you with a brief story. There was a ah little boy in our town who was always after his dad to throw the ball around or, ah, let's get the boat out. Go fishing.  this little guy had a lot of friends. He was smart. He was funny. He was talented. He was first born. He loved playing sports as well as, ah, I remember he was not too bad on saxophone in high school band as he got older, he discovered, love for cars. And like most a lot of us anyway, he liked a lot. He liked most anything that would go really fast. Cars, engines, turbos, tires, special suspensions. All that quickly became his passion. After he graduated high school, he wanted to go toe a pretty elite private engineering school on the east side of the state of Michigan. Here it's Ah, it's called Kettering University, formerly known, and you may know it as General Motors Institute. And as much as he was involved in a a lot of, ah extra curricular activities in school, his ah, his grades weren't exactly up to snuff. Not really good enough to get into Kettering. So he enrolled in a local community college. And, as you might imagine, he came through with Straight A's. And as a result of a meeting between his parents and the dean of admissions at Kettering, he was accepted, ah, into that program over there, Very shortly after he arrived on campus. Ah, he was told that he would need to find a faculty adviser, So we asked around as to who is the most accomplished member of the faculty. Turns out it was an almost elderly gentleman and older gentleman, a true legend in the automotive industry. However, this guy was beyond retirement age and no longer took on students to mentor. He was still on faculty and he was still publishing, and he was still inventing and getting patents but And he was pretty much done with mentoring students. Well, not to be denied. The boy basically used his charm and ask all the right questions at the right time. And basically Ah, war the man down. So the kindly old gentleman begrudgingly agreed. And so off they went four years of being mentored and ah, this boy began mentoring others along the way and, ah, meeting pretty much each and every challenge thrown his direction shortly after he graduated. He was not a boy anymore. He was a full grown man. He was heading up north with his girlfriend for a day of skiing when suddenly started laughing and couldn't stop. After a few hours of this uncontrolled laughter, he called his dad. So what should I do? His dad told him he needed to go to the emergency room, and it was there that he discovered something that he really wished he hadn't. After a CT scan, he was told that there was something on his brain. They weren't sure what it was could be. Scar tissue, After all, he was an athlete. Could be some kind of super infection. They just didn't know they needed to do surgery. Well, they did surgery, and at the completion of the surgery, the the neurosurgeon came out, grabbed the family and went into a private room and said, I'm sorry we didn't get the answers that we that we really wanted here today And I think your son has a form of brain cancer. Further tests then revealed that what he had was called in anaplastic astrocytoma, which is a very rare form of brain cancer, especially for young men his age. The prognosis with that disease is about six months to a year, but, you know, typical to this guy. He kept working as an engineer, and ah worked for 2.5 years, and after a stroke and some other side effects from these treatments, the doctor said, there was really nothing more that we can do. He was in placed into hospice care. The people that came over to his house, where were just awesome, just just terrific. They answered all these questions. They provided new equipment and tools that were needed to make his life easier, more comfortable. They said that they wanted him to have everything he needed to have a good quality of life. Right after Easter, he went into inpatient care, and his parents could once again focus on being parents and caregivers. The hospice team took a huge burden off of their shoulders as well as his. They put on a brave face for him and, you know, he put on a brave face for them, too. That boy was my son, man, from this is why I volunteer for hospice. You see, I saw firsthand quite a difference. Hospice could make we saw first hand. What a huge blessing. Hospice can be, if you let them. They made it possible for us to have a meaningful and quality enriched time with our son. Well, I want to thank you for listening to this pilot episode of Living With Hospice. We'll be back soon with another episode. In the meantime, if you have any questions or comments, please drop us a line at We will try to answer your questions in, and we certainly appreciate your comments Until then, my name's Mitch Ware and with Cosmo and Charlie Boss Cat Chloe, wherever she is, we wish you a blessed day

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