Nurses and Nursing Students for a Cure


Nurses and Nursing Students for a Cure

Location: Everywhere, USA.
Members: 27
Latest Activity: Mar 5, 2010

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Can Nurses Care Too Much?

Started by AJs Dad. Last reply by Stephanie Feb 22, 2009. 1 Reply

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Comment by Alice Sillis on March 5, 2010 at 7:57pm
After reading all the posts, I realize how many of you have entered nursing school due to your experiences with your child/teen's diagnosis but also due to your observations and interactions with pediatric oncology nursing staff/ICU nurses. I chose nursing as a profession after I met an LVN who cared for my mother (who was recovering from a surgery.) The thing that I admired was her compassion for our family and her excellent nursing care. I am a '75 BSN and '78 MSN grad and I have been a med surg floor nurse, Clinical Specialist in Pediatric Mental Health, Air Force Nurse Officer and Nurse Administrator. I took a hiatus from nursing to attend to the learning disability needs of my kids. Through, my daughter's cancer, I was reintroduced to many of the current roles of nurses. I was pleased that the core values of nursing are alive and well.
Comment by Alice Sillis on March 5, 2010 at 7:29pm
Sorry for the typo in the info below... Claire's platelet count is 119K/uL not ml....Alice Sillis RN
Comment by Alice Sillis on March 5, 2010 at 7:24pm
I am very honored to join this discussion group. My 19 year old daughter, Claire, was dx with Lymphoblastic lymphoma in Jan. 2009 and is now on maintenance therapy. She has been in remission since late Feb. 2009. Although admitted as an adult, at age 18, Claire was transferred to the pediatric oncology service once diagnosed with a pediatric cancer. Our experiences during her treatment in general, have been very positive. I will remark on a few situations later but I wanted to introduce myself and my family's experiences with Claire's Dx. I am a RN and my husband is an attorney (and former RN.) Both of us were MSN grads, I in Child and adolescent Mental Health nursing and he in Adult MH nursing. Neither of us had much experience with pediatric oncology. Our family also includes Claire's older brother, now 21.

Claire, had just completed her first college semester at California State University, Stanislaus when her respiratory sx caused an emergency admission with surgery. Claire's sx started during the Fall of 2008 at college. She had a "cold" but shortness of breath & wheezing persisted. The campus clinic MD dx asthma (she had minor childhood asthma and used albuterol prophyactically when exercising.) She then developed left sided chest pain. Dx Costochondritis; Rx:muscle relaxers and ibuprofen. She had difficulty sleeping with that. The SOB returned in Dec, 2008, but she got through finals. When I came to pick her up, she had SOB walking to the car ( then okay with inhaler relief.) She was stable and saw her primary MD the next day. DX asthma with RX inhaled steroids( Cautioned to return if no improvement in a week.) Six days later, she ran to help her brother outside and had more SOB. The next day, return to see the MD. Claire was assessed and sent for a chest x-ray. She had a left collapsed lung. She was admitted and the CT showed a large mediasinal node (it had caused SOB the chest pain in November.) The node had leaked and collapsed the lung! Surgery followed to biopsy & chest tube inserted. Claire has Stage III LBL with nodes in neck, chest, armpits and abdomen but no cancer in organs or bone. The treatment protocol was started on Jan. 9, 2009 and she had 5 intensive chemo phases over 8 months. Besides the "usual" side effects from chemo (hair loss, n &v; low counts) she had some mild peripheral neuropathy and one admission for sepsis (probably anal fissure/diarrhea origin) with a transfusion lung injury thrown in for good measure. Her counts finally recovered and she started Maintenance phase in October. She had sensitivity to the meds and just 2 weeks ago reached normal counts in all but platelets (119K/ml.) But that is great for her since she had 3K in Sept with bleeding gums and petechiae.

Her cancer journey threw us all into emotional shock and my husband, son and I quickly went into mobilization to help her endure the 17 day initial hospitalization and surgery. Until she was transferred after dx, Claire was on an adult telemetry/Med surg floor. The staff were terrific. They let us (both parents) stay with her 24/7 in a private room. There was a new Maternal/child hospital on the Kaiser Roseville Medical Center campus due to open in 6 days, so she was transferred to Sacramento Kaiser for the start of chemo and workup. In the ICU there, we were allowed to stay with her 24/7 (one at night) and she was then transferred to the new hospital as the first ICU patient that arrived. Sadly, due to her treatment and subsequent low counts, Claire had to take a leave of absence but will be readmitted Fall 2010 semester (CSU eliminated Spring & Summer admissions.) She is confident & now relaxed with her survivor status and her treatment. This is in large part due to the excellent nursing and medical care given at Kaiser. She was a terrific person before that too but the cancer journey has added many positives things. A few weeks ago, she said, "Mom, if the cancer returns, I can get threw it. I'm stronger now." Other changes continue. Claire brother, a college student is enlisting in the USAF now that her treatment has stabilized. I had to cancel my attendance at a Jan 2009 RN re-entry course but we joke now that I got a crash course in pediatric oncology! Claire will be in treatment until Jan, 2011 and I will be reviewing my possible career plans in the coming months.
Comment by Mary Prokop on February 13, 2009 at 3:33pm
My daughter Kate was diagnosed with high risk pre-b ALL on Feb 2, 2008. I have a background in chemistry, but was pursuing a dream to have a retail boutique selling home decor & accessories. When Kate was diagnosed, my life changed forever. My business partner started running the business more while I did the weekend shift, all the while going through the "Shock & Awe". The store tanked due to the recession, even after 4 yrs in business.
I received the most information, strength & courage from Kate's nurses. They picked me up off the floor when I was crying, they brought me a birthday cake to our room on my birthday, they bought the jewelry I made while sitting in the little room watching her battle this beast. That's why I decided to be a nurse. I am currently finishing my pre-reqs & will apply for the fall 09 program.
I remember one night a nurse from the regular peds came down to fill in, she told me she hated working on the peds oncology floor, it just made her too sad. At that time, one of our onc nurses walked in, she looked at the fill in nurse & proceeded to explain that these are "MY patients, these are strongest families you will ever meet, don't be sad for them." That sealed the deal for me. I knew I had alot to offer the families that will be going through the hell called childhood cancer.
Well thanks for reading my rambling.
Comment by Gina Williams (Angel Brooke's mom) on November 14, 2008 at 6:40pm
It's so strange how all of us who have gone through tragedies with our children are becoming or already are a nurse. I knew a long time ago that I wanted to become a nurse, but I put it off to raise my children. Little did I know one of my three daughters would develop cancer. Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma to be exact. It was a tumor in her brainstem with no possibility of removing it. She battled it for 13 months and passed away last year, Sept. 22, 2007. I started searching for good nursing schools about a month after she died. I have been working hard in Nursing school in St. Louis since I was accepted in March. I am working towards my BSN. I will graduate the end of 2010. My daughter Brooke is my hero. Her nurses at Cardinal Glennon were exceptional.
Comment by Tina on November 13, 2008 at 10:45pm
Im a nursing assistant and i loved my sons nurses they all treated him and us like family and that is why i am going to get my nursing degree i have always wanted to be a nurse but i want it more now
Comment by Julie Montelongo on October 17, 2008 at 11:16am
Hi, my name is Julie Montelongo and I am currently pursuing a career change to nursing! I've been in accounting for about 12 years, and have been awakened to pursue something more personally satisfying, where I can have an impact on people. It's exciting, and scary and still trying to figure out if I have what it takes to be an oncology nurse or not. Right now, it is my goal to get into a program in January 2010. I look forward to learning a lot from current nurses, and other students.
Comment by Amy on October 7, 2008 at 2:21pm
I became a nurse at the age of 21 in 1995. I then completed my BSN in Nursing in 2004, the year my little boy Paxten was born. Oct. 20th 2006 he was dx with ALL, then 2 weeks later after chromosomal tests returned, hypodiploid ALL. This is a very rare type and is treated with a bone marrow transplant most of the time. Since Paxten did not have a matched sibling he went on the Very High RisK ALL Protocol. I had to quit working at the very hospital where we spent the majority of our time for the next year and a half. We were admitted in my hospital over 35 times. It was pretty hard going from the nurse to mom and not still trying to be the nurse at the same time. The nurses and doctors were all very understanding and included me in every part of his therapy. They often printed the orders and MARS off for me. This January he relapsed while just starting the maintenance phase of the protocol. AFter living 2 months in the hospital trying to get him back into remission, nothing worked. We had to take our baby home to die while he was still running up and down the hall chasing the nurses and pretending like he was a little monster. AFter a Make-a Wish trip to Orlando, a huge 3 1/2 year old birthday party, and trip to Charleston, Paxten went to heaven on April 6th, 2008. I am still not working at this time as a nurse. I have an 11 months old little girl. I am scared to go back to the "other side" (Nurse instead of patient/mom). It may just be that the hospital reminds me so much of paxten. I am inspired that so many of you Moms are going to nursing school now. I really would like to use my experiences with Pax and my experience as a nurse to do something to help these fighting babies and families. It may be that it is just a little too soon at this time. I do know that I love being a nurse and helping people and will get back into it in the future. Thanks for reading my rambles! Amy Mitchell
Comment by Carrie Black on October 3, 2008 at 9:44pm
Our nurses were like that too. We were addressed by name (or as Ian's mom and dad). They truly understood that the patients were human.
Comment by Jessica on September 30, 2008 at 3:05pm
Awesome idea :) I'm going part time for my ASN. I think Carrie said it best... I'd always wanted to go into medicine and had been taking a hard look at Nursing, and then Andrew was diagnosed.

The moment that clinched it was after his brain surgery. He was still in PICU, my mom stayed that night with him so I could sleep in the hotel. I came back early in the morning. As I was coming in his PICU nurse from the night before was outside leaving and saw me. She stopped me and said "Your Andrews Mom? I just wanted to let you know he did really good last night, he's recovering great". That she recognized me, that she saw him as someone's child and not just a patient, I'm not sure which part it was that touched me so deeply but that's when I decided.

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Discussion Forum

Can Nurses Care Too Much?

Started by AJs Dad. Last reply by Stephanie Feb 22, 2009. 1 Reply


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