They arrived at 3am. I took over their care at 7am. He complained of some left sided numbness. A CT scan revealed extensive brain masses. As the day went on the situation deteriorated as we learned more from additional testing. This man was previously in “perfect” health, he and his wife of decades were nearing retirement. As the day went on we learned that went was in his head were ten or more metastatic lesions as a result of melanoma and similar lesions covered his kidneys and liver.
My job was to care for them as the news continued to come in and a plan of care was developed. They were both in deep tears as they day went on and the prognosis worsened. On the second day of their stay and with time it was determined that the lesions were too small and too extensive for neurosurgery to be of any effect and the patient would undergo targeted radiation and chemo. The patient was moved to the oncology floor. As they said goodbye to me they both teared up and gave me a big hug and said “thank you so much for all you have done”, (I thought, i haven’t done anything), “you brought such a calm and peace into this room, thank you so much.” They hugged me again we said goodbye. Patients love their nurse and remember those who bring peace to their room and take command of the situation and advocate for their care.