Hi everyone! I am a brand new nurse, and I am working on a med/surg orthopedic/oncology floor. we have a lot more orthos than oncology pts, but were the only unit in the hospital that can give chemo, so we get a decent amount of CA pts.
last week was my first week of orientation and one of my pts was very recently diagnosed with breast CA, and had undergone a mastectomy and had both her ovaries removed that evening. i was expecting this woman to be depressed, crying, angry, something! i was fully prepared to do my best to console her... but she was super pleasant and energetic. every time i went in to check on her she said she didnt need anything. she had a smile on her face, and was making some jokes.
she also had no family with her. she had mentioned to me that she has a husband when i asked if there was anyone at home that could help her with her JP drains, but there was no sign of him for my whole shift.
i asked my preceptor if its common for people to be this happy when they are all alone after a major surgery and a recent cancer diagnosis, and she said shes seen it from time to time, and that it is a lot to take in and she may be in denial.
have any of you experienced this? it was just bizarre to me. not that i wish to see my patients crying and being depressed all night, but it just gave me an odd feeling, like right before people commit suicide and they act really happy. any thoughts or advice if i encounter this in the future?