Saturday, January 29, 2011

At the end of the first of 9- 60 hour work weeks...

I'm ABSOLUTELY exhausted! I don't know how other people do it! Lawyers put in ridiculous hours. MD's are known to pull crazy all-nighters (although with the ever changing laws, that's getting much better!)

I'm thoroughly planning to enjoy each and every minute of this sweet weekend off! Sure, there's homework to do, but there's also some serious sleeping in to be enjoyed!

The last 2 days of my week were exciting, draining, emotional, fun, and eye-opening. Such is the life of a PICU nurse!

I was able to take care of a little one with a brain tumor. More than once doctors have told her family she would not make it. And more than once she's defied all logic in medicine.

She's had 5 brain surgeries, multiple chemo and radiation treatments (mostly study drugs), and she's even been to a "healing retreat." But still, the tumor is taking over.

Her "wish" was to meet the "I-Carly" character (Miranda Cosgrove) in concert. Many months ago she was granted her wish, getting front row seats, back stage VIP passes, and even entry into the sound check before-hand.

But, unfortunately, she wouldn't be able to make it...she's stuck in the PICU...really sick : (

So what did her mom do?? Like any amazing mom, she wouldn't give up. She ended up contacting the producer and long-story short, Miranda, along with a back-up singer, a guitarist and her mom, came and gave a short, sweet, personal concert for my little patient.

It was amazing. We were able to break some rules and pack her room full of family and friends...all getting to watch her enjoy her (most likely) last wish! Smiles were all around, but the tears were also free-flowing.

I don't know how the oncology docs and APNs do it all the time. Cancer, brain tumors, in children is just not right. It's not fair.

But to be able to be a small part of it, to make the patient more comfortable, and provide even the slightest bit of comfort to the family as well, is so rewarding.

Sometimes the adventure is not all fun and excitement. Sometimes it involves gathering the family. Singing sweet songs to a patient who longs to sing along, but a raging tumor will not allow. Providing comfort, to both the patient and the family. Smiling when they smile, crying when they cry.

It takes so much to do this. So much time, energy, effort, and empathy. And yet, I'm given back to in a much larger way.

Truly this little one has touched the lives of many. This is evident in the amount of people gathering around her bedside. This is evident in the way a celebrity rushed to give her a personal concert to fulfill her wish. And it is evident in the way almost every network in the area picked up this story and shared it with people.

To see her story, and a piece of the concert Miranda gave, click here:

*If you look closely, you can see me in the background at one point- I'm the one wearing the chili pepper scrubs : )

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