I am not sure if this is the correct place to post but had to vent about work today. I still remember my very first patient to pass away on my floor like it was yesterday. I can tell you what room number she was in and the look in her daughters eyes as she took her last breaths. The daughter looking helplessly at me to bring her mother back but unable to do so due to a DNR order. I started as a new grad in an Oncology floor and found myself unable to cope with so much death at first. Seeing a 31 year old woman and mother of 5 kids leave her children behind, or the 21 year old newly wed man with a child on the way, was just too painful for me to see. I often thought of these patients and thier families and it would just break my heart. Months and months have passed and although I still am saddened by the deaths that occur on my floor I somehow am able to see it in a way that I can handle it better. I see so much pain and suffering from the patient and sometimes when they are gone I console myself by thinking they are in a better place and no longer in pain. But there are still some that really get to me like the one I had today. There is something about caring for oncology patients and thier families that I just can't explain. You see some that are angry at the world and can be really mean, you see the ones that are full of hope, the ones that are depressed, and some that just want to give up. Today, as I prepared to change the dressing of my patient he looked at me and said, " what's the use of doing anything for him? Cause he was dying anyway." The look in his eyes was an all too familiar one, one that I have seen many times. I leaned towards him holding the knot in my throat and said for him not to think that way. Then I excused myself for a minute locked myself in the restroom and just cried for a good 2 minutes. There I was crying for a man and his wife I just met 2 days ago. These moments are the ones that get to me and this man will go in my filed memory of all the ones that have come and gone. So many I have had the pleasure of taking care of but the sadness of realizing they are gone. These strangers that let me in thier life and share thier beautiful family stories with me. I guess I am writing this because I want to know how other nurses can hold thier tears back at work. I often feel unprofessional because when I have cried at work even though it is not in front of patients or their families some of the nurses can probably tell from my face being red. It hasn't happened at work that often but thier are just some cases that get to me the most. Not saying that any of patients where more important than others but tht somewhat made a bigger impact in my career. Is it wrong for me to cry for a patient I just met? Does it somehow make me unprofessional? If there are any oncology nurses out there hoe do you deal with this and do you respond to a patient that says these things without giving false hope? I really do love my job, no, I do not like to see anyone suffer but I enjoy the fact that if I can make my patient have at least one good day then it was all worth it. No matter how many times I have to clean them, or thier throw up, or give them pain medicine, or simply help them get dressed because they can no longer do it. Some people will thank me for doing these things and cry when I have to change thier diaper and really appreciate it, but the truth is, it is an honor to do these things for them because It humbles me each time I do it. I as an RN am not any better than a CNA and can help my patients with these things. If I can at least make them have one good day then all of it is worth it. There are so many memories that I have of my terminal patients that will forever be embedded in my head. Does it ever get any easier to deal with at work? Will I ever be able to contain my tears till I get home? How do any of you all out there deal with terminal patients? How do you encourage your patients to fight the cancer without giving false hope?