Any Oncology or Haematology or Palliative care nurses out there?

My3sonsMy3sons Member Posts: 5
Well this is still all quite surreal to me! I’ve been an oncology/haematology/palliative care nurse for 30+ Year’s .....when people ask what kind of nursing I do I generalise and say “I’m a cancer nurse!” This diagnosis adds a whole new meaning to the title! Lol! I’ve kind of dodged a bullet (well compared to many) as only required a lumpectomy, Im in the middle of 4 weeks of radiation....then 5 years or so of Letrazole! I swing between being amazingly positive to choosing music for my funeral! Mainly I’m keeping upbeat with my out there sense of humour.......!!! This is kind of working for me!.......And I think am up to about 30 friends and family getting their mammograms on since I was diagnosed! Touch wood all clear....

Comments

  • PeterBPeterB Member Posts: 20
    Just finished my five years. You seem to be handling it very well.
    Good Luck
    PetetB
  • AfraserAfraser MelbourneMember Posts: 988
    Humour is one of the best medicines! If you can keep that as you go through treatment, you will be fine. It's the sort of hands on learning you want to avoid like the plague, but having happened, you will have new insights and knowledge. As you have already shown by encouraging mammograms. Best wishes for the future.
  • primekprimek Broken HillMember Posts: 3,308
    I've worked in oncology and palliative care as well as nursing my own father at home with lung cancer and provided support to my brothers family as they nursed his wife who had endometrial cancer. It can help but it can also make us a bit pessimistic as we don't work with the ones that do make it.

    When undergoing my chemo and seeing how short staff they were I considered returning to the field. However once in the middle of treatment  I realised once my journey is through I well might want to just forget all about it. So I have scrapped that idea. It's all a bit raw. I'm back working in my current field of mental health and feel working with people trying to find happiness in adversity truly helps me.

    No matter what our experience, positive or negative, we all have days where we think we'll die from this disease and days when we are sure we will beat it. It's all normal. I say let the emotions roll. Acknowledge that we do have fear and doubts...and that's okay. It's only when we get caught in the fear and when we can only feel frightened or sad constantly that we need assistance. Then talking with somebody outside the family can help. We often feel we can't let our loved ones know how scared we are, putting on the brave face doesn't change how we feel inside. It just makes others feel comfortable. So yes have a cry. Rest and retreat as needed and positivity hopefully will return. Kath x
  • JoeyLizJoeyLiz Member Posts: 38
    I'm a Radiation Therapist and when I've mentioned that to the other medical professionals I've met in my journey so far they either give me a look of pity,  say "oh so you know all about this then" or "oh that must be awkward". I must admit I'm finding it all very fascinating, I usually meet my breast patients a month or more after chemo so don't know a lot about the different regimes and all the her2 and E/R receptors etc (except for seeing it on the referral it doesn't impact the radiation side of things), so I'm taking it all in from a learning point of view. 
    Being in Hobart with only 1 centre it is a bit weird sitting at chemo in the chair next to a patient who the week before I was designing his radiation treatment or across from a lady at LGFB who I met during her radiation planning session....
  • busterbuster Member Posts: 10
    Hi @My3sons I too feel like I am luckier than most. Same as you lumpectomy only 3 weeks ago been to Onc who said I will need Letrozole after radiation. I go to my initial  consultation with radio onc tomorrow so dont know yet how long I will need radiation for. How did you find it? My daughter bought me moo goo today as everyone said it was so good. How are you finding the letrozole? 
  • MaggienbubMaggienbub Member Posts: 2
    JoeyLiz said:
    I'm a Radiation Therapist and when I've mentioned that to the other medical professionals I've met in my journey so far they either give me a look of pity,  say "oh so you know all about this then" or "oh that must be awkward". I must admit I'm finding it all very fascinating, I usually meet my breast patients a month or more after chemo so don't know a lot about the different regimes and all the her2 and E/R receptors etc (except for seeing it on the referral it doesn't impact the radiation side of things), so I'm taking it all in from a learning point of view. 
    Being in Hobart with only 1 centre it is a bit weird sitting at chemo in the chair next to a patient who the week before I was designing his radiation treatment or across from a lady at LGFB who I met during her radiation planning session....

  • MaggienbubMaggienbub Member Posts: 2
    I don't know how I would be without the fabulous, kind & yes funny, caring stsff from your unit. You are all the benchmark of how oncology SHOULD be in Hobart. I can only wish you the very best as you have given so many. I hope if we are in neighbouring chairs you won't be  a stranger. Thinking of you.
  • My3sonsMy3sons Member Posts: 5
    buster said:
    Hi @My3sons I too feel like I am luckier than most. Same as you lumpectomy only 3 weeks ago been to Onc who said I will need Letrozole after radiation. I go to my initial  consultation with radio onc tomorrow so dont know yet how long I will need radiation for. How did you find it? My daughter bought me moo goo today as everyone said it was so good. How are you finding the letrozole? 

  • My3sonsMy3sons Member Posts: 5
    I thought radiation would be a walk in the park and probably compared to chemo it is! The fatigue! When they said fatigue a side effect they weren’t joking! Probably continuing to work 4 days a week didn’t help, but as radiotherapy has a cumulative apeffectprobably the first week after treatment the worst so then I took a week off! For the burns I lathered myself in Q.V. dry skin then when it got worse dermeze (like moo goo I think)! My boob ok....quite tanned now compared to her poor white sister! Think my underarm (where they removed my sentinel node) wore the brunt of it....only just healed after surgery! A few zaps from radiation and it went to crap! All good now tho! Salty ocean water helped.....even with rashly on! It’s a purple raspy tho so I’m all good with that lol!
    Only had bone density post radiation so been on the Letrozole a week! Pharmacist tells me will take a few weeks before side effects so will let you know!! 
  • iserbrowniserbrown Regional VictoriaMember Posts: 1,714
    @joeyliz Oh wow!  What a weird sensation that would be - a bit like you're ambidextrous!  At least as you sit in the chair next to known patients you can give them encouragement and no doubt vice versa!  It's such a reality isn't it!  Your work doesn't make you exempt from this wretched thing called Breast Cancer! 
    Wishing you wellness with treatment and eventual NED!  Take care x
  • JoeyLizJoeyLiz Member Posts: 38
    @Maggienbub Thankyou for your kind words, I think we do a pretty good job here. If your in the Holman Clinic for Radiation feel free to ask for Jo and I’ll pop round to say hello x
  • JoeyLizJoeyLiz Member Posts: 38
    @iserbrown currently in the chair and no known faces today but always lots of friendly smiles x
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