hospice nurse with cancer

kashey Member Posts: 3
edited March 2014 in Breast Cancer #1
Talk about the other side of the fence....I am a Critical Care RN and a volunteer Hospice RN. I lost my father to cancer when I was 7 and then my wonderful step dad when I was 29. My biological dad asked me to promise him when I grew up that I would take care of people like him, well I knodded my head yes, but hated the thought of doing so. Well I kept my promise, but now have more then I bargined for. I recieved my DX of Breast CA on Jan 2 2003, mast. surg on the 15th of Jan. Now I am going thru 6 months of chemo, with a good prog. I had an active Hospice pt at the time of my surg. I didnt think I could finish his case, I was way to emotional. I did. I was very hard for me and painful as I still had two drains hanging from my chest. I could not remove myself from the case since he was so close to death and the family had grown to depend on me. We are a Christain family and many people were praying for me. God gave me the strenght to minister to this family when I needed so much myself. I wont be taking any other Hospice pts now until my chemo is over. I still work 1-2 days a week, if the fatigue is workable. One of my many problems is that I only see the worst cases, and had a very bad outlook for myself. I knew enough to be dangerous to myself. Its been hard to get over my luggage I bring with me on this journey. I am a very active person,is hard to tell if I am having fatigue or depression. It stinks what ever it is. I hope this discussion group will help me thru the next 6 months and beyond.


  • marytres
    marytres Member Posts: 144
    Hi Kashey, I lost my dad to cancer too when I was 17. Hate to say welcome to the group since I wish there would be no new members but it's not like that. Anyway, I found alot of support here and everyone of these women have a story of thier own but are more than ready to help out. The moral support is great. So much love, care and understanding from everyone. I'm sure you'll find alot of friends here ready to help. I'll leave my e-mail address in case you need to talk. [email protected] God bless. Hugs, Marie
  • isaiah4031
    isaiah4031 Member Posts: 240
    Welcome to the site! I, too, am an RN, although I am currently teaching, not working in a hospital. One of the great things about having the medical background is being able to understand what some of the doctors tell me. The bad part is that I don't always want to hear what is being said, and sometimes I dwell on a negative prognosis. However, a wise lady on this site once told me that God has a prescribed number of days for each of us and a diagnosis of cancer doesn't change that. It just makes us a little more aware of it. I am 47 and will reach my 2 year anniversary in April. It has been a very up and down journey, but God has been so faithful and has seen me through, as He will see you through it all. He has promised to never leave you nor forsake you, and He always keeps HIs promises. Hold on to your faith and remember Philippians 4:13. It doesn't say "some things" it says "all things." We are here to help you by listening, sending e-hugs, praying for you...whatever you need. Keep us posted. I'll be interceding for you.
    Love, Jayne
  • inkblot
    inkblot Member Posts: 698 Member
    Hello Kashey,

    You sound like one amazing lady! To have been able to continue caring for a close patient, through your own cancer dx is quite a feat. Your spirit is absolutely inspiring! A precious gift to your patient and his/her family!

    Sometimes, the other side of the fence is only a heartbeat away. In your case, with your caring and concern for others, I believe the other side of the fence was far better understood than you may have realized. Some people just have that special caring and understanding, which goes far beyond any duties or "job". I'm honored to make the acquaintance of such a special person.

    You said that you have a good prognosis and that's a wonderful thing! Another gift.
    From my own bc experience and thinking, if we can endeavor to find and embrace the positives of all we must deal with, we can learn much along the way of this unwanted, wretched experience. Through our dx, treatments, pains, fears and survival, we can come to know ourselves better. To gain a better perspective perhaps, on life, living it and loving it. That's tremendously valuable.

    It's only a short time since your dx, so what you're feeling may well be the effects of having your emotions overwhelmed. Hearing that we have cancer can literally put our emotional lights out or at least set them blinking off and on like holiday lights gone berzerk. But that's ok. Go ahead and allow yourself to experience all the feelings. Don't get caught in denial.

    For me it was a roller coaster ride for a bit. Up and down. Sad and angry. Strong and weak. Afraid one day, determined the next. I CAN do this. I DON'T WANT to do this. It DOES begin to settle but it naturally takes a toll. You're certainly entitled to feel fatigued...emotionally and physically. Don't be afraid to coddle yourself a bit. Be kind to yourself and know that all of us here have been down basically the same road and there IS light at the end of the tunnel. It gets brighter in stages.

    Being in Critical Care, you know that after physical trauma, surgery, etc., people are often depressed for a bit. Anesthesia, medications, fears, etc. all contribute. Well, with bc, our journey has usually only begun, once we leave the hospital from our initial surgeries. We cannot simply go home, follow drs. orders and expect to heal, inside and out, in 6 or 8 weeks. It's a lot to work through and it makes perfect sense to me that we feel drained, tired, depressed, anxious and anything else we human beings are capable of feeling. Try to relax a bit and work through it, one issue at a time. If you feel that you're down too much or feel stuck at any point, talk with your doctor, in detail about it. Counseling can also be very helpful in sorting out our feelings and gaining perspective. I recall feeling, for the first few weeks after my dx, that my emotions...my very life, felt like a big plate of spaghetti. I couldn't find the beginning or the end of any one thread. Even my thoughts felt crossed and confused. Don't expect yourself to be strong and positive all the time. Particularly during treatment. It's ok to be down from time to time. A natural thing. So don't ever feel like you have to be superwoman. When you're having a bad day, go ahead and have it. Everyone else will manage it, trust me. YOU ARE ENTITLED!

    I hope that your chemo is going well and that you're experiencing few side effects.

    I hope that you'll continue to visit support groups...sharing our experiences is an integral part of not only coping, but healing. Keep the faith and take good care of yourself.

    Love, light and laughter,
  • banker
    banker Member Posts: 317 Member
    Hi, welcome to this board. You are a very special person and I admire your strength.
    "inkblot" has said it all in a wonderful way and I agree. God bless you, good luck with your chemo and please keep in touch. (((hugs))) Emmi
  • Chanel
    Chanel Member Posts: 4
    Hello Kashey, I am a breast cancer survivor of five years.Please know that I am here for you and that you will be in my prayers.I know God will give you the strength that you need everyday.I wish you the best.Please talk to me anytime.God bless you! Chanel My email is [email protected]
  • kamehameha6470
    kamehameha6470 Member Posts: 33
    Hi kashey:

    First of all, I'd like to thank you for the wonderful service you provide. I lost my mother when I was 24, and 3 months pregnant. The hospice nurses assigned to my mother relieved both her physical and emotional suffering, and offered so much to our entire family. You folks are truly angels on earth!

    Keep the faith, sometimes going through treatments, it's the only thing we have to cling to. I just finished my treatments this past July, and by the grace of God, I'm still here to enjoy my 3 beautiful children.

    God bless, and if you ever need a chat, I'm just an email away.

  • LWaldroupe
    LWaldroupe Member Posts: 1
    Dear Hospice Nurse: I am an RN also, and am going thru chemotherapy. I have 6 children ages 24 to 16mo with my oldest child in Afghanistan in the AF. We get through this stuff with God's help. Have faith that we are part of the many people that will survive for along time to help the patients that will be waiting for us to care for them. Good Luck, LWaldroupe
  • maggs
    maggs Member Posts: 164
    It is depressing when you are first diagnosed and go through treatment, but it DOES get brighter. We all pray a lot and believe we are still here for a reason. There is a lot to be done in the breast cancer field, since so many of us suffer from the lack of communication between the professionals and ourselves. Perhaps this is a field for you in the future. BUT I am amazed that you finished the cancer case-GREAT JOB!!! I don't know if I could have done it! I think I would take it easy for a while as I recuperate, perhaps take some other nursing cases not related to cancer or dying, if you can. Or change into cancer education or some other aspect of hospice care for a while, until you are over the hump yourself! God bless you! Maggs