Don't Curse the Nurse!

Sharing support with stories & humor

Someone Else’s Bucket List

on June 23, 2014

ImageI met a patient this last weekend whose history and physical read like a dictionary for Oncology terms. She’d survived one type cancer five years ago, was diagnosed with breast cancer prior to her hospital stay, AND she couldn’t start treatment because she had an infected wound, symptoms suspicious of a spreading cancer to her lungs, and a low blood count.

Here’s the amaaaazing thing about her: she had the most genuine smile on her face, a “Let’s make the best of today” kind of look, and a light in her eyes that I have to get fourteen hours of sleep to obtain. Her frame was slight but her presence filled the room.

We( the other nurse in the room and I) were discrete with our assessment — asked no dumb questions about her cancer — focused on explaining what we were going to do in our department.  She must have noticed us trying too hard because she brought up her complicated history without prompting.

“You know what I’m going to do when I get out of here?” She said in a matter-of –fact way.

“What’s that?” I was done preparing the equipment and stood at her stretcher.

“I want to go to Disney World.” Her smile got bigger.

Now, all I was thinking about was the heat, the heat and the crowd. She shut down my ever too pragmatic attitude with her next comment.

“I’ve never been.”

I heard the regret in her voice and didn’t know what to say. She went on.

“I think I need to get there. Soon.”

I just shook my head in agreement.


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