Pt: Young man with lung cancer

Posted

I'd like to prepare myself for this young mans death. I know it will be unbearable for him, his family and myself to watch as he fights for his last breaths of air. Anyone with some ideas on what I can do for him both physically and emotionally to help him through. He will be a fighter till the end.

hospicenurse

hospicenurse

84 Posts

I'd like to prepare myself for this young mans death. I know it will be unbearable for him, his family and myself to watch as he fights for his last breaths of air. Anyone with some ideas on what I can do for him both physically and emotionally to help him through. He will be a fighter till the end.

It would be helpful to have a little more info about this situation. Is he at home? Hospital? Is he on hospice? In general, you should get him Roxanol for air hunger/pain and an order to use as much as it takes to make him comfortable. You can be with him, listen to him, and let him have as much control over his dying as possible. And know that it does not have to be unbearable for him, you or his family. It can be a peaceful, though inevitable, process. It can be spiritually moving and can change lives in positive ways that are impossible to see at this point in time. In other words, people who go through this kind of experience with a loved one can become stronger, better people in the long run.

gail

llg

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 45 years experience. 13,469 Posts

Sometimes, how you imagine how a death will occur is a lot worse than it actually is. My mother died a few yeas ago from pulmonary fibrosis. Before she died, I imagined that she would gasping for breath, etc. However, she was so well medicated (with morphine) that she died peacefully in her sleep. Her last days were not nearly so bad as I had imagined they would be.

Adequate medication can do a lot to ease suffering. Make sure your patient gets plenty of good drugs.

llg

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

He will be a fighter till the end.

THAT'S the statement that bothers me most; those that cannot accept their terminality.

He is young and of course he would resist it.....

Nothing anyone says is going to change his anger and grief.

These types are the most difficult to deal with.

I agree with a lot of good drugs around the clock.

leslie

laurakoko

laurakoko

184 Posts

About 4 years ago I took care of a man, 26, dying of cancer. He was in the hospital for about 2 weeks. I worked alot back then, as I was single, without children. This one CNA and I worked great together, and always took the same pt assignment, on the same hall, and took care of this man for almost his entire stay. The family, the staff, and his pregnant new wife, was very aware of his prognosis. The CNA and I did everything we could to keep him comfortable in his last days. I left one evening, and commented to the CNA, I think he has about a day left. I walked out of work that evening, comforted by the fact that I probably would not see him pass because I was off the next two days. I had become close to he and his family, and didn't really want to be there when he passed, because I knew I would be very upset. I came back to work, 2 days later, and sadly, took report on him. As I made my rounds, at 7:30 AM, he looked at me and smiled, and said, "I am glad to see you, Laura, I couldn't go in any one else's care, I wanted you to be here", " I know you and Marilyn will take care of my family today", and he died. I was the only one present in his room at that time, and I actually felt good that I was there. At that minute, a peace came over me, and I cried. It was the moment in my life that I realized, no matter how stressed I am, and how I rant of staffing ratios, I can really help to bring peace to someones life. It doesn't happen everyday, but when it does, it stays with you forever.:)

leslie :-D

11,191 Posts

About 4 years ago I took care of a man, 26, dying of cancer. He was in the hospital for about 2 weeks. I worked alot back then, as I was single, without children. This one CNA and I worked great together, and always took the same pt assignment, on the same hall, and took care of this man for almost his entire stay. The family, the staff, and his pregnant new wife, was very aware of his prognosis. The CNA and I did everything we could to keep him comfortable in his last days. I left one evening, and commented to the CNA, I think he has about a day left. I walked out of work that evening, comforted by the fact that I probably would not see him pass because I was off the next two days. I had become close to he and his family, and didn't really want to be there when he passed, because I knew I would be very upset. I came back to work, 2 days later, and sadly, took report on him. As I made my rounds, at 7:30 AM, he looked at me and smiled, and said, "I am glad to see you, Laura, I couldn't go in any one else's care, I wanted you to be here", " I know you and Marilyn will take care of my family today", and he died. I was the only one present in his room at that time, and I actually felt good that I was there. At that minute, a peace came over me, and I cried. It was the moment in my life that I realized, no matter how stressed I am, and how I rant of staffing ratios, I can really help to bring peace to someones life. It doesn't happen everyday, but when it does, it stays with you forever.:)

your story gave me goosebumps....yes; we can relate to those ones that wait for our return before they die. thank you for sharing that lovely story.

leslie

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.