DiversityNursing Blog

Stray Dog Credited for Christmas 'Miracle' Cancer Cure

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Dec 29, 2014 @ 10:42 AM

By LIZ NEPORENT

ht stray dog cancer cure wy 141225 16x9 992 resized 600

Adopting a stray dog while in the midst of battling a disease that was deemed incurable hardly seems like the best timing, yet that’s exactly what Bill Hogencamp and his wife Kathy decided to do.

They believe that decision helped save his life.

Hogencamp, an 84-year-old semi-retired architect from Phenix, Alabama, was diagnosed with incurable cancer of the gall bladder, liver, colon and the lining of his abdomen back in May. Doctors told him he wouldn’t live to see Christmas.

“I have seven children and I’ve traveled all around the world,” Hogencamp said. “I thought if this is it, then this is it.”

Hogencamp chose to undergo treatment even though his doctor told him there was no hope, he recalled. In October, he had an operation to remove three large tumors.

Eleven days after his surgery, his wife was on her way to pick him up from a rehabilitation facility when she spotted a small white dog wandering down the middle of the road, in danger of being hit by a car. Although she was in a rush, she said something compelled her to stop and rescue the pup.

“He walked past six other cars right up to the side of my car and put his paws up on the door,” she recalled.

While his wife was hooked on the cute little dog right away, Hogencamp needed some convincing.

“I hadn’t had a dog in twenty years and I had no desire to have a dog,” he said. “I kept saying we need to find his owner.”

Despite an extensive search and nearly a dozen false leads, the Hogencamps were never able to track down the dog’s owner. They learned from a vet they visited during their search that he was a Maltese, probably around 6 years old, fixed but not chipped.

Besides, the dog very quickly won Hogencamp over. They soon became inseparable.

Whenever Hogencamp sat down, the dog -- who they named Mahjong after Kathy’s favorite card game -- would jump in his lap. Whenever Hogencamp napped, Mahjong would curl up next to him. When Hogencamp returned home after being out, Mahjong would hop onto his hind legs and dance with joy.

As he and his wife settled into life with a dog, Hogencamp underwent chemotherapy. Just before the holiday he received some miraculous news: Tests showed that he was now cancer free.

The doctors are at a loss to explain this amazing turn of events, Hogencamp’s wife said. But she said the family believes that Mahjong has played a huge part in her husband’s recovery.

“The dog seemed to know right away that Bill was sick and it was his job to take care of him -- and Bill knew it was his job to take care of the dog,” she said.

Hogencamp agreed. He said their relationship gave both him and the dog a sense of purpose. Although he knows he owes much of his cure to great medical care and a lot of luck, he said that he is convinced the little white dog was sent to him to help him get better.

As they celebrate Christmas, Hogencamp said he has two final chemotherapy treatments. He said he’s spending the day with friends, family and of course, Mahjong.

“My life has been a miracle,” Hogencamp said. “And now Mahjong is part of that miracle.”

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

Topics: life, rescue, dog, operation, stray dog, miracle, diagnosed, tumors, health, doctors, cancer, treatment, surgeries, cure, Christmas

6 Things that All Nurses Want for Christmas

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Dec 22, 2014 @ 01:29 PM

6 Things that All Nurses Want for Christmas resized 600

What do all nurses want for this holiday season? We asked the nursing community on Facebook and reddit and we discovered that yes, it’s not necessarily a pair of scrubs. Here are their answers:

  1. Better staffing and better nursing jobs

    Top of the list are these answers that we think go hand-in-hand:

    “A job. Going 2 months strong being unemployed (currently living the dream of being a stay at home wife). When I was working: Adequate staffing.” – mogris, from reddit

    “I second the ‘adequate staffing’. I'm a little worried that my Christmas night will be crushingly busy.” – CrossP, from reddit

    “I'm in the same unemployment boat as you. It is not a fun ride. I just want to be someone's nurse again.” – OkieDokieArtichokee, from reddit

    “Better nurse to patient ratio!” – Lisa B., from Facebook

    “Low census and adequate staffing” – nocturnalnurse, from reddit

    When hospitals and other healthcare facilities don’t want to hire more nurses, then obviously there are fewer nursing jobs created. Meanwhile, the existing staff will have to bear a heavier workload.

  2. The right to die with dignity

    “Legalized euthanasia.” – Vilalintine, from reddit

    After all, death shouldn’t be something to be afraid of. Controversial as this may sound, sometimes it is the better option for the patient.

  3. The company of family and friends, at home or even at work

    All nurses want for Christmas is “to spend it with their families.” – Leslie C., from Facebook

    “To not be pulled to another unit. I'm already away from my home family, don't take me away from my work family too!” – FunkeeBananas, from reddit

    “Word. Worst Christmas ever involved me and another nurse getting pulled to another unit, that nurse crying, my pod mate being a total bitch, and my two being patients sad, sad trainwrecks. Ugh.” – abermanlebt, from reddit

    Who doesn’t want to feel at home this Christmas, even at work?

  4. The ability to not get tired

    “Feet that don't hurt after 12hrs.” –Hottiemcgee, from reddit

  5. A break during their shift or sometimes a break from nursing itself.

    “A break…” – Nancy G., from Facebook

    “Nonnursey gifts. ;) seriously, get me a new game or help with the gaming PC I'm building and I will love you forever. Or blankets. My husband keeps this apartment freezing! Same there's only do many layers and blankets I can cover up in before it impedes my gaming.” – thackworth, from reddit

    “Steam gift cards and a matched pair of GeForce GTX 980s. ...or is that just me?” – auraseer, from reddit

    Everyone does need a break from nursing once in a while—and that break takes different forms. For some of our nurses, it’s a day of playing their favorite video games. So before you go shopping to get some gifts for nurses, you may want to consider this fact. (Hint: if your nurse friends aren’t gamers, a day of pampering is always nice.)

  6. And of course, all nurses want the best for their patient.

    “For the NICU babies to go home with their family.” – kitty-cat-meow, from reddit

    “An empty waiting room.” – A_guy_in_scrubs, from reddit

    No patients means no one’s sick, and hence, no problem!

We’ll end this post with a Christmas carol from rninnj, posted on reddit:

12 filled meds from pharmacy

11 family members leaving

10 toes on a diabetic

9 days off

8 beds ready, no new admissions

7 cups of coffee

6 smiling patients

5 sleeping patients

4 extra staff members

3 patent lines

2 uninterrupted breaks

1 partridge in a pear tree

Wishing all nurses a happy holiday season!

Source: www.nursetogether.com

 

Topics: funny, gifts, humor, nurse humor, Holidays, nurses, Christmas

Boy Struck by Lightning Leaves Hospital in Time for Christmas

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Dec 17, 2014 @ 11:25 AM

By SYDNEY LUPKIN

ht alex hermann lightning 3 lb 141215 16x9 992

What does a 9-year-old want after being struck by lightning and forced to spend three months in the hospital? He wants to cuddle his dog and set up his family's Christmas tree.

"He made me do it the first day I was home on Friday," the boy's father, Roger Hermann, told ABC News. "He can't move his legs, but he was directing some of the ornament placement."

Alex Hermann was on a soccer field in Austin, Texas, on Aug. 26, when a bolt of lightning struck him and stopped his heart. He suffered burn wounds and hypoxia, which is when the brain can't get enough oxygen.

Over the next three months, Alex underwent skin-grafting and wound-closure surgeries, as well as cardiac ablation, which corrects heart arrhythmias, at Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas. He still has a "number of issues" to address over time, but he's improving.

Although the hospital staff was great, Hermann said, Alex became homesick. Hermann added that he and Alex's mother promised that if he worked hard in therapy, they would try to get him home for Christmas.

Alex was also reunited with his beloved dog, a Catahoula Australian shepherd named Spice, who seemed pleased to have her buddy back.

"She sleeps on the bed with him," Hermann said. "She’s been guarding him."

Source: http://abcnews.go.com

Topics: child, lightning, health, healthcare, nurses, medical, hospital, treatment, surgeries, Christmas

Nurse Gives Christmas Card To Entire Airplane Crew

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Mon, Jan 06, 2014 @ 10:40 AM

One airplane pilot says he and his whole crew got a touching surprise from a grateful passenger while they were working on Christmas.

"Today, a passenger gave our crew Christmas cards with this note inside," theunidentified pilot said on Reddit. The note was apparently from a nurse who cares for cancer patients at NYU Langone Medical Center.

Airplane crew members on Reddit seemed to support the idea that such a small gesture makes a big difference.

"As a former FA [flight attendant], I can confirm that it is always appreciated when passengers were nice, or acknowledged us in this way," user MonorailBlack wrote on Thursday. "Flying over the holidays isn't fun - missing Christmas with your family for more than 10 years gets really old. The little things made it more tolerable."

Topics: nurse, note, working holidays, pilot, Christmas

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