What is the worst thing you've witnessed as an oncology nurse? - page 4

HI, you might recognize me from such posts as; "whats is like to be an oncology nurse" and "whats the worst thing you have seen in the burn unit" Anyhow, i am curious to know what the worst... Read More

  1. by   boulergirl
    My uncle died a few years ago of bone cancer. Unfortunately, he might be living today if he'd gotten a bone marrow transplant when he first needed it. Mom was a perfect match for the transplant, but they had a disagreement and he disowned her for TWO YEARS. By the time they reconciled, the transplant was too late. He also smoked, even the day of the tranplant, and from what I understand, he was treated with radiation as well and the level given him was a bit too high. His lungs slowly turned to leather until he passed away.
  2. by   SBradshaw
    I am not an oncology nurse yet but I want to be one. Particularly I want to be a pediatric oncology nurse. I'm not exactly sure why, but I feel that is where I should be. I have watched many of my family members pass away due to several different cancers. The oncology nurses that took care of my aunt and grandfather are the one's who inspired me to become a nurse. I spent so much time on the cancer unit between the ages of 12 and 18. The nurses were like family to me. They were there for all the good and the bad. They were with us all while my aunt was in the hospital and my grandfather was being diagnosed with cancer. There were there for my aunt and grandfather as we told my aunt the news of my grandfather's cancer. They watched some of my family grow while others died. Having two family members in the cancer unit across the hall from each other was so extremely hard. If it wasn't for the nursing staff that helped not only my aunt and grandfather, but my family and me as well, I don't know how I would have ever gotten through it. I will never forget sitting with the nursing staff on two separate occasions, crying due to the passing of my family members. Words could never truly explain what those nurses meant to me. I tell them every time I see them how grateful I am for them. They have become a part of my family. I only hope I can be as good as nurse as they were.

    --Stacey
  3. by   TweetiePieRN
    Quote from SBradshaw
    I am not an oncology nurse yet but I want to be one. Particularly I want to be a pediatric oncology nurse. I'm not exactly sure why, but I feel that is where I should be. I have watched many of my family members pass away due to several different cancers. The oncology nurses that took care of my aunt and grandfather are the one's who inspired me to become a nurse. I spent so much time on the cancer unit between the ages of 12 and 18. The nurses were like family to me. They were there for all the good and the bad. They were with us all while my aunt was in the hospital and my grandfather was being diagnosed with cancer. There were there for my aunt and grandfather as we told my aunt the news of my grandfather's cancer. They watched some of my family grow while others died. Having two family members in the cancer unit across the hall from each other was so extremely hard. If it wasn't for the nursing staff that helped not only my aunt and grandfather, but my family and me as well, I don't know how I would have ever gotten through it. I will never forget sitting with the nursing staff on two separate occasions, crying due to the passing of my family members. Words could never truly explain what those nurses meant to me. I tell them every time I see them how grateful I am for them. They have become a part of my family. I only hope I can be as good as nurse as they were.

    --Stacey
    I used to want to work in pediatric oncology too! After graduating nursing school, I ended up working in Adult Oncolgy, which is where I am today. Honestly, after having my son...there is no way I would be able to work pediatric oncology now. Even just hearing a child cry causes me to cry. Having my son has really changed my ability to "keep it together" when really sad things happen. It's as if some emotional door has been opened up and I cannot stand to see children suffer or in pain. It literally shakes me to the core.

    Good luck to you though! Oncology is a great field to work in...peds or adults!
  4. by   Zoey65
    I am re-entering nursing after 10 years and will be working on a medical/oncology floor. I have the oportunity to work in a newly opened neuro unit instead. I am a highly emotional person and am wondering if I can handle oncology. I would like some feedback on what choice I should make.
  5. by   ProfRN4
    Quote from zoey65
    i am re-entering nursing after 10 years and will be working on a medical/oncology floor. i have the oportunity to work in a newly opened neuro unit instead. i am a highly emotional person and am wondering if i can handle oncology. i would like some feedback on what choice i should make.
    [font="century gothic"]i never worked on a neuro floor, but have taken care of neuro pts. that can be pretty emotional too- traumatic brain injuries, strokes, etc. just my
  6. by   Ruby Vee
    i worked heme/onc for 5 years in the late 70s and early 80s.

    the saddest thing i ever saw was the anesthesiologist who hadn't been feeling up to par for weeks. he had someone draw his blood and send it to the lab stat. the results came back while he was in surgery -- he had leukemia. he finished his surgery without saying a word to anyone, then checked himself into our unit. he died after several rounds of chemo, which he endured with dignity. everyone loved him -- his patients, his colleages, his nurses, his doctors. we all cried when he died.

    or maybe the saddest thing was the 17 year old "unit mascot" who taught me how to use the pneumatic tube system when i started my job. he was also my cousin's best friend, so i knew him from the various family functions he had attended with my cousin. we all thought he was going to make it. he was in remission. someone gave dilantin ivp with tpn -- the stuff precipitated into a great big ball and the embolis killed him.

    then there was the 25 year old mother of two who had cervical cancer which went untreated until she became pregnant for the third time and went back to the gyn after a few years. the smell was horrific, the wound was enormous and the pain was debilitating. and i had just been diagnosed with cervical cancer . . . .

    i'm still here. she, mercifully, died after several weeks of screaming. her husband never visited because he "didn't want to see her like this," and he wouldn't allow her parents to bring the children in to see her, either, because he didn't want them to "remember their mother that way." she begged to see her kids, but died without them.


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