My name is Michelle DeGrechie. I am a licensed, ordained chaplain. I enjoy spending time with loved ones, listening to music, hanging out with my dogs, and traveling.
I am fueled by my passions. One of those passions is taekwondo; I have been a practicing martial artist for several years. While I am not exactly Jackie Chan, I enjoy learning and teaching martial arts. I seek opportunities that allow me to use my skills and abilities to improve things or help others. I like to help people while providing comedic relief.
Please allow me to share my experience with pancreatic cancer. My mom, “pretty lady,” like so many others, had a difficult time obtaining a diagnosis, despite the warning signs. Once the official word was given, treatment began. So, unfortunately, did the mistreatment, the mistakes, and the misinformation. While going through the process, I made it my mission to find as much help as I could for my mom, as well as my dad, her primary caregiver.
Mom fought valiantly for over a year. In the end, she flat-out refused Hospice care, and subsequently passed away after a month-long stint in the hospital. Her last 18 months were an emotional roller coaster, filled with hopeful highs and soul-shattering lows. On what would ultimately be her last day, I was driving from Texas to Florida to be with her. I had called the hospital and spoken with my mom’s nurse that morning. The nurse reassured me, telling me that I had time to get there and to be safe in my travels. I then hung up the phone and called back to my mom’s room to speak with her directly. She and I had a heartfelt conversation, exchanged our “I love yous”, and then she went back to sleep. Nine short minutes later, my dad called and blurted out “she’s gone.”
It is that very moment in time that inspires me and will continue to drive me in helping others that are in any way affected by this dreadful disease.
Facing a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is an emotionally and spiritually challenging time for patients and their loved ones. Knowing of the profound impact that faith and spirituality can have on one’s health, we support the option of seeking support from chaplains who provide compassionate care during times of uncertainty. As you navigate this journey, consider if the support that spiritual care from a chaplain can provide would be helpful for you.
We have a dedicated Chaplain that provides comfort, grief, and or spiritual/emotional support to those who need it.