the path to change: Oncology
nurses leading the way

. :  Viviane Amos (Montreal)

Viviane Amos, McGill University Health Centre

I am a Pivot Nurse for patients diagnosed with advanced lung cancer and I have a rewarding and touching story to share. Last fall I met a young man in his late 30s with Stage IV lung cancer who was married with two adolescent children. When he accepted the initial concomitant treatment offered by the lung cancer team, I collaborated with the team to manage his symptoms and side effects. During that time his wife struggled with her interpretation that she would be managing his care for years. I had the challenge to clarify with her that we were facing months, not years. In the meantime her husband began to respond poorly to treatment and required increased home care and support. Eventually he was admitted and kept comfortable with palliative nursing care. He then disclosed to me that he did not wish to live any longer and that he felt ready to let go. This was a most difficult situation for his family who was not ready to hear this but eventually accepted his decision.

As I prepared to say goodbye at his bedside with what I knew would be our last encounter, he whispered in my ear to thank me for how much I helped him and his family. In my role I support many patients and assist them in their transition to end of life care. It is because of patient experiences like this that I see how I can help make a difference in oncology care.

Viviane Amos, RN, B.Sc.N, CHPCN(C)
Montreal, QC
McGill University Health Centre, Montreal General Hospital
Pivot Nurse in Oncology Lung Cancer

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