DiversityNursing Blog

She Got A Surprise Of A Lifetime On Her Last Day Of Chemo [VIDEO]

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jun 29, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

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Wait until you see this beautiful surprise! She’s amazing; he’s a thoughtful guy; and they’re are a special couple.

Lucas D'onofrio's girlfriend will remember her last chemotherapy session for the rest of her life. 



Topics: surprise, chemo, hospital, chemotherapy

Wisconsin Mom and Daughter Diagnosed with Cancer 13 Days Apart

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Fri, Mar 06, 2015 @ 11:14 AM

ELIZA MURPHY

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It’s a battle they never thought they’d face, let alone at the same time.

Missy and Brooke Shatley, a mother and daughter from Prairie Farm, Wisconsin, both have cancer. They were diagnosed only 13 days apart.

“It’s that unbelief,” Missy, 38, told ABC News of her reaction when they learned the devastating news. “You feel numb like this can’t really be happening. This is happening to somebody else, it could never be you.”

 

Missy was diagnosed with stage 2 cervical cancer on December 26, the day after Christmas.

“I went in for my annual physical and that was the result of it,” she explained.

Then on January 8, Brooke, Missy and her husband Jason’s oldest child, was diagnosed with stage 3 ovarian cancer.

“Why us? Why?,” Missy asked. “Is it something in our water? Is it genetic? Why both of us in such a short time frame? The doctor said it’s not the water, it’s not the environment, it’s just a freak act of nature.”

Before Missy’s diagnosis, Brooke, 14, had been experiencing severe abdominal pain that went undiagnosed for several weeks.

“The doctors told us she had a baseball-sized hemorrhagic disc and it would go away on its own and we should just wait,” Missy explained. “We waited for a few weeks and thought, ‘This is ridiculous,’ and we sought a second opinion.”

The Shatley’s then took Brooke to see the same specialist that had just diagnosed her mom days earlier. The devastating news was that Brooke’s tumor was larger than they originally suspected and needed to be operated on immediately.

“It was a four-and-a-half hour surgery,” Missy recalled. “It was a football-sized tumor. It had intertwined in her abdomen. You couldn’t tell by looking at her belly, but it was football-sized.”

The brave mother-daughter duo began undergoing intense treatments at the same time in Marshfield, Wisconsin, about two hours from their home--understandably weighing heavily on husband and father Jason, a dairy farmer, who was traveling back and forth to take care of them while also tending to their other two children and maintaining their farm.

“It’s hard,” Missy said. “Just to even think, ‘That’s my wife and daughter,’ how does anybody deal with that? Plus we have two other kids at home so he’s trying to be a husband, father, keep up with the farm, he’s being pulled in so many directions, how do you even begin?”

This week has been better for the family, however. Both Missy and Brooke are back home, resting and enjoying their time, although possibly brief, out of the hospital.

Missy just completed her final round of radiation and chemotherapy on March 2. She now must wait eight to 12 weeks before they can tell how effective the treatment was on her cancer.

Brooke still has one more round of chemo to complete, tentatively scheduled to begin on March 9.

Although their simultaneous diagnosis has been difficult, Missy says, in a way, it’s been nice to have that newfound bond with her daughter.

“You don’t want to experience it with anybody, but if you have to, doing it as a mother-daughter is helpful,” she said. “You’re bonding over raw emotions. It’s definitely a connection that you form.”

On March 28 their community is holding a benefit for the resilient pair, which Missy says is just one of the generous things they’ve done to help throughout this process.

“Not in a million years could I imagine the outreach we’ve had,” she said. “The surrounding communities have been phenomenal. We have a dairy farm so we’ve had people volunteer to do chores, saw wood, make meals, provide transportation for the other kids when we need it--anything and everything they’ve offered up.”

Most importantly, she added, “Prayers, lots of prayers.”

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

Topics: mother, chemo, health, nurse, nurses, doctors, health care, cancer, hospital, medicine, treatments, radiation, chemotherapy, daughter, cervical cancer

Legal Battle Rages Over Whether to Force 17-Year-Old Cancer Patient to Have Chemo

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Jan 07, 2015 @ 01:38 PM

By SYDNEY LUPKIN

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A court will determine whether a 17-year-old girl, under something called the "mature minor doctrine," can be forced to undergo chemotherapy after she refused treatment for her cancer.

How do you feel about this?

The case will go to the Connecticut Supreme court this week to determine whether the teen, identified in court papers as Cassandra, has "the fundamental right to have a say about what goes on with your [her] body," attorney Michael Taylor, who represents the teen's mother, told ABC News. Taylor was appointed by the public defender's office, and Cassandra has her own court-appointed lawyer, but they've filed joint appeals.

Cassandra was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma in September, but decided she didn't want to complete the prescribed treatment, according to a court summary. Her mother supported this decision, but the Department of Children and Families stepped in and ordered her mother to comply with the doctor's treatment recommendation.

"It's really for all the reasons you might imagine," said Taylor, adding that he couldn't go into more detail.

Although chemotherapy is a drug that destroys cancer cells, its side effects include hair loss, nausea, pain and fertility changes, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Cassandra underwent two chemotherapy treatments in November and then ran away from home and refused to continue treatments, according to the court summary.

A court hearing ensued in which Cassandra's doctors testified, and she was removed from her mother's home and placed in state custody so that the state could make medical decisions for her.

She has been has been living at Connecticut Children's Medical Center and forced to undergo chemotherapy for about three weeks.

The Hartford Courant reported that Cassandra has an 80 to 85 percent chance of surviving her cancer if she continues with her chemotherapy.

The state Department of Children and Families issued the following statement:

"When experts -- such as the several physicians involved in this case -- tell us with certainty that a child will die as a result of leaving a decision up to a parent, then the Department has a responsibility to take action. Even if the decision might result in criticism, we have an obligation to protect the life of the child when there is consensus among the medical experts that action is required. Much of the improvements in Connecticut's child welfare system have come from working with families voluntarily to realize solutions to family challenges. Unfortunately that can't happen in every situation, especially when the life of a child is at stake."

"No one is disputing that it's very serious," Taylor said. He said there's "a good chance" Cassandra could survive her cancer with treatment, and "there's a good chance she could die if she doesn't. None of us disagree about that."

Taylor said they're trying to argue that because Cassandra is competent, she should be allowed to make this decision for herself through something called the "mature minor doctrine," which has been adopted in Illinois and a few other states but rejected in Texas. The doctrine holds that some children are mature enough to make key life decisions for themselves.

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

Topics: chemo, minor, legal, Medical Center, State, health, healthcare, family, nurses, doctors, children, medical, cancer, hospital, medicine, treatments, chemotherapy

Warmth spreads through hospital after son leaves message in snow

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Wed, Feb 12, 2014 @ 01:15 PM

By Lolly Bowean

For Sharon Hart, the third day after her chemotherapy treatment for acute myeloid leukemia is always the hardest. That’s when she feels weak and sometimes discouraged.

“The blood levels are depleted and I get tired and sick to my stomach,” said Hart, of Bolingbrook.

She was feeling that way Saturday afternoon at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center when she looked out the window and found reason to smile.

On top of the hospital parking lot, her 14-year-old son William had stomped out a message in newly fallen snow, in letters the length of two cars: HI MOM. The ‘o’ was made into a smiley face.

When he left the hospital hours later, William and his father and uncle added: GOD BLESS U! The gesture not only lifted Hart’s mood, but warmed the spirits of other patients, families, nurses and doctors as news of the message quickly spread. People posted pictures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, drawing national attention.

“My son has never done anything like this before,” said Hart, 48. “He is a very caring child andmomgod resized 600 very loving. ... He acted on instinct and from what was in his heart. I’m glad so many people got to see the message and that it touched so many. It shows how big God is.”

Hart was admitted to Rush after she was diagnosed with leukemia on Feb. 3. William arrived at the hospital to visit her and noticed the expanse of fresh snow on the garage. He stomped out the message, then called his mother and told her to look out the window.

“I wanted to send her the message because I thought it would brighten her spirits and help her get through this,” said William, a freshman at Bolingbrook High School. “I would love for her to be happy.

“This has been rough. I’ve been praying a lot and trying to not think about what’s going on so I can do good in school. I keep my hopes up and pray every night that my mommy gets well.”

With the help of a nurse, Sharon Hart climbed out of bed and opened the blinds. That’s when she saw that he had written, ‘HI MOM.’

When William left the hospital hours later with his dad and uncle, the three decided they would extend the message to all the patients. It was viewable from the east side of the hospital from the 9th floor to the top of the building.

“They wanted to write ‘God Bless U All,’ but they ran out of room,” said Deb Song, a spokeswoman for the hospital. So they wrote ‘GOD BLESS U,’ instead.

William said his first message was specifically for his mother. But after the visit, he thought about all the other families. As he and his father and uncle pushed around the snow with their feet, they noticed people gathering at the windows, waving, jumping and taking photos.

“It was very cold out there, but I didn’t care,” he said. “I wanted to get it done and let people see it. It’s amazing because just to see people feel happy feels good.”

A nurse who works the third shift noticed the message because a patient’s daughter was watching the men stomp it in the snow and became emotional.
When Angela Washek, 26, a registered nurse in the surgical intensive care unit, looked outside, she thought the men were just playing in the snow, she told the hospital staff. Then she realized that they were shaping letters.

Song said Washek emailed pictures to the medical staff.

“We don’t always get to see the good side of things in ICU,” Washek said. “People come out of surgery and they are in pain and feeling bad. When they feel better they go to another floor. This gave us a glimpse of people at their best. It boosted our morale, that’s for sure.”

Within an hour, staff from other parts of the building were coming over to get a peek at the message, Washek said. Then the story went viral.

“I still can’t believe this,” she said. “People have called from Pittsburgh and Cleveland and said they saw it. People want to care about the good side. A story, even a small one, makes people feel good. We all want to feel good at the end of the day.”

“We got such an overwhelming response from our doctors, nurses and staff who saw it and thought it was wonderful. The gesture was so simple, but so creative and nice,” Song said.

By Monday morning, the snow -- and the message --- had been cleared from the parking, Song said.

But through photos and stories, the power of the gesture has endured.

“She said it was really heartwarming, especially since she works with acutely sick patients, which can be tough,” Song said. “The gesture was so simple, but so creative and nice.”

Source: Chicago Tribune

Topics: chemo, heartwarming, snow, cancer, Rush University Medical Center, message

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