#!@$ I hate cancer

  1. I hate it because it's cruel. I hate it because it's indiscriminate. I hate it because it is sucking the ever loving life out of a beautiful soul and there absolutely nothing I can do about it.

    I'm a fixer. I always have been. Something breaks, I fix it--or at the very least, break it proper so there ain't no fixin.

    I fix things for a living. Cold? Let there be warm blankets! Broken ankle? Poof! Hardware. Heart doesn't want to beat? No problem. I will shock it into submission.

    And I was happy tonight, wrapped securely in my sociopathic bubble, enjoying the taste of diet Sunkist and pondering the outcome of the dissecting AAA being offloaded from our chopper landing pad.

    But then, for some reason, the fates decided to up and pee in my Cheerios.

    I found myself working on a girl--someone scarcely a woman--already riddled with scars and twisted by Chemo; someone who has not experienced a single placid moment in her young life, and as she allowed the anesthesia meds to lovingly coax her away from the waking world, she clung to my hand (I am not a hand holder, typically) like the child she is and wept. Just as the propofol and succs numbed her tongue, she looked me in the eye and breathed, "It's not fair."

    And I felt a chink form in my mental armor. It left me breathless and a touch reeling. She came into sharp relief in that moment; not to say that I didn't see her before....but I didn't see her. Suddenly there she was: the scarf lovingly, painstakingly wrapped around her chemical stripped head, her lips blistered and her skin sallow. And alone. Totally alone.

    I'll be honest...I don't know why I'm posting this here. I don't know why she seems to have wormed her way into my subconscious to reside right next to the mental image of my first procurement patient with her tiny blush-pink chipped nail polish covered fingers and toes, or the first patient I ever lost on the table. I don't know.

    I guess, in some strange capacity, I don't want her to be alone or forgotten.

    If you managed to survive my rambling idiocy to reach this point, thanks for hearing me out. Sincerely yours,

    Your Friendly Neighborhood Sociopath
  2. Visit CheesePotato profile page

    About CheesePotato

    Joined: Jan '12; Posts: 241; Likes: 2,374
    OR circulating/scrub nurse; from US
    Specialty: Sleep medicine,Floor nursing, OR, Trauma


  3. by   NurseOnAMotorcycle
  4. by   carolmaccas66
    You can't fix everything unfortunately and it does suck.
    You can only be there at the end sometimes, and be that person that holds their hand, says kind words, or is just physically THERE at the last moment. If you can't be the carpenter repairing something, just be the support beam instead.
    Sweetie, I have people in my own family who are ill at the mo and who were abused as children. THEY will not even acknowledge any help I try to give, and I do not push it on them: they are so scarred they cannot accept what happened to them. I even suspect that my own mother was perhaps abused more than what she says, but she would rather die than admit it. She does not let people get close to her, takes her temper and anger out on me & everyone else, & suffers to this day from an (undiagnosed) mental illness. I cannot help her; she will not accept help. I can only be there for her & try to empathise.
    When my close patients or families are screaming at me, and I know they have been abused, or a family members' loved one is dying, I just stop and listen. Sometimes I give them a hug when they have stopped ranting & they burst into tears. I try to do practical things for people as well. They will not always appreciate it but you will have touched them in some small way.
    I am sure you touched this person in a special way as well.
  5. by   OCNRN63
    The OP should have submitted this as an article. Beautiful writing. I hope you get some peace,
  6. by   AICU RN
    Wow. Just wow. Thanks for sharing
  7. by   nightengalegoddess
    Life is not fair in the least. This is why some people become athiests. I can understand that completely. And I understand you completely. We see it all. And it is often ugly. Praises for those of us, and you, OP, who have the privlidge of witnessing. Just being there in that moment is what the fixing is sometimes. Peace.
  8. by   tokmom
    Your post made me cry. Cancer does suck. It doesn't care how old the person is. Young, old, it still ravages.
    Big hugs to you. That hand holding meant the world to her. Yeah, you can't fix this, but you gave her caring and comfort by doing something so simple.
  9. by   jjanaesmith
    Certainly not fair. I look up to those nurses who work in oncology. I once thought that is the specialty I wanted to grow within until I realized this fact; cancer is a battle and often a slow death...with few positives. I know that over time, watching people of all ages and cultures die this way, I would wear down. I know we all handle patients with cancer now and then, but an oncology nurse is front-line and is witness to these cruel scenarios nearly every day. So to all those oncology nurses...I truly look up to you!
  10. by   fostercatmom
    I'm so sorry for your patient. And I am so grateful you are a nurse. Thank you. You are what we are about.
  11. by   ShayRN
    Someone I love with all my heart is fighting lung cancer right now. Your right, it sucks.
  12. by   CheesePotato
    I am humbled by your responses. Thank you for taking the time to read and reply.
  13. by   Bortaz, RN
    Having just lost my dear, sweet father to lung and liver cancer in September, this post is very real for me. Thank you for being there for her, holding her hand. I've wanted to make a post expressing my gratitude to the nurses that cared for my dad, but it's just been too emotionally raw for me.

    So, thanks to you for taking such good care of this girl, and thanks to the dear nurses that held the hand of my father when he was frightened and in pain.
  14. by   xtxrn
    It's never easy- but with a kid, it's horrendous. I couldn't do pediatric oncology. Peds was bad enough. I've been through chemo, and while it stunk for the 19 months I was on it, at least I was "old enough" to understand the reasoning for the need for the lousy times to have a shot at staying alive. Kids? Maybe. And that's hard to deal with.