May 13, 2002. A patient was wheeled into a private room accompanied by a female companion named chona. She was 23 years old about to turn 24 a month after. She was the eldest among 4 sibling and her parents were divorced. She was living with 2 of her younger sibling (ages 18 and 12), both of her parents were in the USA together with the 2nd child in the family. Her mother and her sister had to leave the country for the much needed medical attention for her sister's leg (open comminuted multiple fracture on her right lower extremity) which according to relatives she could get from the United States of America. Its been a long 2 years without her parents guidance and here she was diagnosed with a rare disease, Ovarian cancer (Teratoma), with only a hired help to accompany her everyday at the hospital.
This day was the start of her 6 cycle chemotherapy session. She has long black shiny hair which you can tell is a pride for her. She was quiet but always smiling.She was asked who was her guardian who can sign the consent by the nurses and doctors but she just smiled and said " i'm of legal age, i can sign it myself" still smiling.
After the various procedures needed to be undertaken before giving her the first dose, a nurse accompanied the doctor and hooked the chemo agent.
She stayed for a week, then she was discharged with chona their family's hired help. she was to return 2 weeks after for the next cycle.
2 weeks after, she came. Her head as bald under a cap, the cap she said smilingly was went by her sister from the US who was also undergoing some operations on her leg.According to her the falling hair was bothersome that she decided to get rid of it. After she was taken into her room, chona came back out and gave the nurses some food. At first the nurse were resisting but chona was very persistent and told the nurses it was her birthday the other day.
That 2nd course, she stayed for 3 days. She insisted to comeback everyday for the remaining doses which her doctor agreed but with a condition that if she wasn't feeling ok she needed to stay at the hospital.
Thats how she finished her chemotherapy course, coming in for a couple of days staying at the hospital and coming back for the remaining doses.
The reason why she chosed to stay at home: was for her youngest sister(12 years of age) have stability in her life. Their mother was out of the country.
She was constantly smiling never complaining always with the rosary on her hand, praying before the course.
The fact: She was taking care of herself at the same time she was taking care of the family, the house, & the livelihood left by her mom to her.
Hmmmmm that patient was me.
I remember when an instructor asked me why I decided to take up nursing when i could just continue being a Physical Therapist, I told her. " Being a Physical Therapist,i feel its still not enough. I needed to broaden my scope of expertise because i really wanted to help... people, who are stricken by some disease, wanting someone to understand what their going through. I wanted to be that someone who says, i'll be with you throughout your fight. whether you loose or win.
My hair grew back but its not as thick as it was. ahihihi positive thinking. I passed our local board twice (because of the leakage issue).
I just wanted to share my story, i hope you find inspiration from it as i did.