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Any nurses out there?

annachronism's picture
annachronism
Posts: 1
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi, all! I'm new to the site. You all look like an awesome group of folks so I thought I'd test the waters...

 

My mom and I have both been fighting cancer in our own ways since 2007. That year, she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer (now stage 4, systemic mets) and I started my career as a bone marrow transplant nurse. Overall, this has been an amazing experience. My mom is a tank and has been going about a fairly normal life despite no breaks between treatments, and I really feel that caring for a family member with cancer has made me a better cancer nurse.

But.

Now we are six years into the journey. My mom's still a tank, but she's down to experimental treatments and palliative care and is getting noticeably tired. I have advanced in my practice, and am caring for more and more critical patients for longer periods of time. I live several states away from my mom, so I'll work my twelve hours, come home, get care updates from her and my dad, make sure they're ok, disperse all info to and calm down my little sisters (also long distance), try to get a few hours of shut-eye, then lather, rinse repeat. I'm getting tired too.

Any tips from both medical and personal caregivers out there as to how to balance the two? I love my mom and I love my work. We haven't really been given a timeline for mom's progression, and she insists that I don't need to increase my visits yet from the monthly ones I already make. I don't want the care I'm giving on either side to suffer, but right now I feel like I'm not doing either particularly well.

Tips?

 

AKRN2013
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2013

 

 

AKRN2013
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2013

Sorry annachronism.  I dont have a lot to add except I understand where you are coming from.  I am a pediatric ICU RN who is also certified in pediatric oncology. i am currently working as the assistant nursing mamager of the pediatric and PIC units.   My father was diagnosed last month with stage 3 esophageal cancer.  He begins treatment next week.  I live in a different part of the country so there has been a lot of phone calls back and forth.  I work 50-60 hours a week (M-F), spend my free time researching treatment plans, etc and trying to be present for my own two yound kids.  I am trying to decide when to go down and how much time I can go.  We are just beginning the journey with my dad's cancer.  I know the statistics and I want to spend as much time with him that I can.  Unfortunately, I just started my new role and there are certain expectations that I am avaiable for the unit needs as well.

 

I dont have any advice but would be more than willing to be a sympathetic ear as we navigate our parents llness.  Feel free to PM me if you need to talk or vent.

 

Heather

 

 

AKRN2013
Posts: 22
Joined: Apr 2013

Sorry annachronism.  I dont have a lot to add except I understand where you are coming from.  I am a pediatric ICU RN who is also certified in pediatric oncology. i am currently working as the assistant nursing mamager of the pediatric and PIC units.   My father was diagnosed last month with stage 3 esophageal cancer.  He begins treatment next week.  I live in a differnt part of the country so there has been a lot of phone calls back and forth.  I work 50-60 hours a week (M-F), spend my free time researching treatment plans, etc and trying to be present for my own two yound kids.  I am trying to decide when to go down and how much time I can go.  We are just beginning the journey with my dad's cancer.  I know the statistics and I want to spend as much time with him that I can.  Unfortunately, I just started my new role and there are certain expectations that I am avaiable for the unit needs as well.

 

I dont have any advice but would be more than willing to be a sympathetic ear as we navigate our parents llness.  Feel free to PM me if you need to talk or vent.

 

Heather

 

 

mr steve
Posts: 286
Joined: Sep 2009

A.

The first thing you MUST DO is take care of yourself. if you wear yourself down, you break. Then what good are you? File paper work for leave. I think you can get it for you mom. that way you won't have to worry about job. its a little thing but one less thing to worry about is a good thing.

MChantal's picture
MChantal
Posts: 94
Joined: Apr 2013

Though I am not a nurse yet, I am currently in nursing school.

My fiance and I are both 23 years old and he has been diagnosed with Peripheral T-Cell Lymphoma-Not otherwise specified; a type of Non-hodgkins Lymphoma. The journey has just begun as his first chemo treatment was this past Monday (5/6/2013).

I do not have any advice, so to say, as I am experiencing what you are as well. Nursing school, work, house work, bills, and being a caregiver only at this younger age. This is a huge eye opener and I am scared. This is something my mom can't make it all go away by a simply hug and kiss.

i am ramblin' off here. But I think i came to stay that there is no easy way to get through this smoothly. Yet, to take it day-by-day, step-by-step, and moment-by-moment. You know this. I am working on also taking care of myself first, to ensure i can offer the best care for my fiance and the rest of our lives.

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