I dont really have a question per say about ovarian cancer itself but as an Oncology Nursing taking care of patients with ovarian cancer, is there anything from a patients view/perspective you as a patient or doctor would want me to know or take into consideration when taking care of patients with ovarian cancer? I am currently in nursing school obtaining my bachelors degree. I am currently in an informatics class in which we look for reputable web sites and I have found this web site great. As paitents do you find the information on this web site to be helpful?
Good on you for posting and finding out more about this site. It shows your conscientiousness as a nurse. Yes, this forum is very useful in the sense that we get to share information and give support to eachother, as this can be an isolating disease. It is also interesting to find out what different countries are doing and the chemo they are using. Have a good day.
Thanks for wanting to learn and know more about what patients would want and what our needs are. You will make an amazing nurse one day!!!!!!
Depending on the type of nurse you are going to be would depend on what we as patients would need or want....are you thinking of working for a GYN/Oncologist? A Medical Oncologist? Hospital? Hospice?
The most important thing is to listen.....not just hear what someone is saying but listen and try to help validate what they are going through. I know that I did not want to hear that everything would be alright, cause it wouldn't. My life would change forever.
Also, be certain to educate yourself on the signs and symptoms and share them with everyone you know...early detection is the best way to save lives.
Ovarian cancer has such a bad reputation as a killer, I rarely told people I had it until I had passed five years. This despite my doctor saying that he could cure me. (I'm a 1A.)On this forum, though, I've "met" many women in stage three or four who have lived or are living productive, meaningful lives for years after their diagnosis. Some have long remissions. Some are treated as chronic. I daresay that most have lived to enjoy family and life events they feared they would miss. So my first advice would be to give realistic but hopeful support to your patients.
Second, about statistics. Everyone has a life expectancy. And the longer you live, the longer you're likely to live. Example: My mother has outlived her life expectancy at birth (probably in the 60s), as a high school graduate (probably in her 70s), as a new retiree (probably in her 80s), and on her IRA (they paid her off at 92!!!). And she STILL has a life expectancy -- because she's made it this far.
The same is true for ovca patients. A study presented at a recent convention (I think it was the American Society of Clinical Oncology -- something like that) shows statistics for five-year survival for ovca patients at the time of diagnosis. Then, a year later, the statistics were improved. And better yet at two years after diagnosis. In other words, the longer you live, the longer you're likely to live! That makes every day of survival a triumph over the statistics. See if you can communicate that to your long-term patients.
I hope you'll keep reading this forum to learn more about how ovca works in real life. And thanks for asking.
Please don't ever treat a woman diagnosed with OvCa as a dead woman walking. Actually, let me clarify my statement. Please pass that sentiment on to the gyn/oncs you meet. Some of them seem to have such a problem with seeing us as people who matter. The nurses I've met in the oncology field are actually really great.
listen to people. i mean really listen. as a member of the ovc club. We go in scared confused terrified and wondering all kinds of things. answer our questions and just be there. My nurses are wonderful. i hadone who just held me as i cried and stayed with me through everything, to this day she still will call me or visit me when i'm in the hospital. thats so important to us
Thank you ladies. A little history about me. I have been an Oncology Nurses, since 2004, I work on a Surgical Oncology Unit. I have worked closly with GYN/ONC, Dr. Jimmy Orr and Dr. Edward Grendys for the past 9 years and absorbing as much as I can from them. I have learned so much from working closly with them. I have been there to hold my patients hands from their first surgery, through their chemo, into remission or losing their battle. I have tried to be as compassionate and strong as I can. I can only imagine what you all are going through physically and mentally but I try to be there for you to lean on. You all are my heros. I am currently going back to school to working my way up to eventually getting my Nurse Practitioners lisence and will stay in Oncology. I believe that it takes a very special person to work in the oncology field, you have to love it. It is not for everyone, I will take to heart what you all post here and thank you for your feed back. The patients that I take care are so special to me and if there is just one thing I can take from this I will. Look forward to hearing more from you all and pass on the information I recieve. Thank You and God Bless.
Thank you for your history. You are right; it takes a special nurse to be in oncology. The nurses that I am affiliated with are great. There are four of them that are "on the phones" and we get to know them quite well. They always call back on the same day and act as a liason between the doctors and us. I believe that if it weren't for them we wouldn't get as good a care. The are always honest and seem to follow the mood of the patient on that particular day. For example, if I am in a joking mood they will follow suit and joke along with me. If its very serious they can do that too. They don't paint a false rosy picture yet they are not too discouraging. It's quite a balance they keep and its an art. It must be hard to not get attached sometimes but they seem to do it. I am a nurse as well but never worked in onclogy. Getting the patient's perspective of things has exposed me to a vulnerablilty that I had never experienced before. Good luck with your further studies. The oncology world will benefit from that!
I lost my beautiful brother in law to cancer, in December last year. Just wanted you to know, from my familys experience, how important people like you are to those going through this terrible disease. My BIL spent the last 6 months of his life in the oncology ward of his local hospital, and my sister and their children were basically there the whole time as well. During this period, they were all treated with the highest respect and compassion, I have ever seen. My BIL developed such close bonds with each and every one of his carers, and it was obvious the feeling was mutual. I know when he eventually passed, that all the nurses and doctors were openly devastated, and we even recieved a few handwritten letters and cards from the medical staff. The care he recieved, and the honesty and empathy shown towards his family, truly made us grateful that our world is blessed to have such beautiful people like yourself, in our communities. When we think of his last days, it is not all about sadness, it is also about the most caring people we ever had the privilege to meet. So to you and everyone else in your field, THANKYOU, your care, makes the world of difference.
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