Monday, June 8, 2009

Real life cancer care

Hugging my patient today as she cried, in front of her teenage grandson, she has lost control. The cancer now seems to have control. She takes her shots for neutrophil recovery, yet she is still too low to treat. She's off schedule because now she has to interrupt the schedule for the next treatment since she cannot be treated today. She can't get a full dose of chemo either because of protracted neutropenia. How can she experience a cure like this? What can I do? Listen, offer support, tell her I'm with her as she is on this journey. I hugged her. She is a survivor. This is war for her. The battle for her life.

Another patient, her son crying, she has cancer that has spread to the liver, lung, bones and adrenal gland. Answered many questions from her long distance granddaughter who is in the medical field. How long will she survive? Will this new treatment for kidney cancer work? Thank God we have something to offer her since there used to be nothing to offer patients with renal cell cancer. We will begin to treat tomorrow... pain patch and Dilaudid for breakthrough pain to try and make her comfortable.

WBC greater than 300,000... that's AML for sure, and it was. Just a young kid in his early 20's. Induction... didn't work. A top medical transplant center suggests a more aggressive second induction to try and get him to a remission so maybe he can be transplanted. Probably his only hope. We will start the matching process on his siblings soon. The dubious quote from this guy, "I've lived a good 20 plus years, I'm not going to let you do a bone marrow biopsy on me." What in the world?! Give me a break, you are just a kid.

This was a day in the life of my career as an oncology nurse. I love it and I work with the best doctors and nurses ever.

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