Goodbyes are never easy…
I’ve been working at the Infusion Center for about 8 months now. In these last 8 months I have learned so much and stretched myself further than I have in a long time. I have faced some new fears (performing a therapeutic phlebotomy) and overcome some old fears (Am I going to remember how to be a nurse after taking an 8 1/2 year maternity leave?!). I have gotten to know some really awesome coworkers and met some great patients and their family members.
Overall the last 8 months have been enjoyable and a great learning experience for me.
For eight years, in the happiness and business of being a stay at home mom, I had almost forgotten what it is like to get attached to a terminally ill person…almost…
This past week was not an easy week at work. Even as I am writing this I can feel the pang of pain in my chest and my eyes getting teary. I had to say goodbye to a special patient. He and his family had to make the tough decision to discontinue treatments and go on Hospice.
Mr. D* will always have a special place in my heart. Like me he has a French last name, like me he also likes to talk a lot, like me he often smiles even when things are not going his way… After heading back to work after 8 1/2 years, he was the first IV stick I missed and subsequently so, the first IV I successfully started (he graciously let me try again for a second attempt.) Something about that first little victory together made us fast friends. Whenever he came in to get treatments, whether I was his nurse for the day or not, I always made sure I went and talked with him.
On Monday after he finished his infusion before leaving as he always does, he came over to say goodbye to me. He told me that he wouldn’t be coming for treatments anymore and that they had decided to start Hospice care. I wasn’t expecting to hear that and was caught off guard by his decision. While I can usually keep it together, I had a very hard time holding my tears back.
I only hope that I am making as big of an impact on my patient’s lives as they are making on me!
*Real names have been changed for privacy purposes.