Jennifer Blome was a familiar face on KSDK-TV, Channel 5, for over three decades. During most of that time she anchored the morning news, helping area viewers get their day started with a mix of humor and journalistic professionalism.
Since leaving television, Jennifer has served as Director of Humane Education at the Animal Protective Association (APA) of Missouri. She is also back on the air at KTRS AM radio; “The Big 550”! She co-hosts "The Inside" show with Jon Grayson, a longtime radio personality in St. Louis. The show airs Monday through Friday from 10am to noon, and they discuss important topics that impact St. Louis residents.
On March 5th, "The Inside" show will be live at the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis' office in Maryland Heights.
And, while Jennifer and Jon will share their unique perspective on the day and week's news headlines; they'll also provide important details and personal testimony on continuum of care services and the impact they have on people as they age.
Hospice care is one of the services they'll discuss, and Jennifer has a very personal experience engaging with a hospice team during her uncle's end-of-life journey.
About 16 years ago, my Uncle Lew (Blome) woke up one day and could not walk. His legs just wouldn’t work. He was diagnosed with brain cancer and given three months to live. Uncle Lew was in his early 70s and lived a block away from me.
I decided to take family leave from Channel 5 and move Uncle Lew into my home.
It turned out to be one of the most gratifying experiences in my life. Uncle Lew had a form of autism, though he was really high functioning.
In the beginning, we had visitors on a regular basis. People sent flowers, cards and balloons. Uncle Lew said, “If I had known this, Jenny, I would have gotten sick much sooner!”
About a month in to Lew living with me, one of my Irish Wolfhounds (Sammy, of Sammy’s Star’s fame) was diagnosed with bone cancer. Sammy was dying, too.
A hospice nurse said “There’s a lot of dying in this house. You should get a puppy.” Say no more!
I got a puppy named Joey. Despite his puppy energy, Joey would sit quietly whenever we put him on Uncle Lew’s hospital bed. (How do dogs know?)
By the time my parents were able to visit, Uncle Lew wasn’t speaking, but the hospice social worker assured us Lew could hear. My Dad sat by his younger brother’s side, and recounted stories from their childhood.
One night out of the blue when I was attending to him, Uncle Lew opened his eyes and said “Jenny, you are walking with me through the darkness. You are my best friend.”
The hospice team was so incredible. Uncle Lew was never in pain. He faded away gently and died peacefully.
I am so very grateful I could be there with him.
Jon will share his personal hospice care story on air, so we hope you can join us on “The Inside” with Jennifer Blome and Jon Grayson, Monday March 5 from 10am to noon. It will be time well spent.