>I don’t know how neuro oncologists do their jobs. I admire them for their ability to handle the sadness they must surely have to endure. I am sure they find it rewarding to bring comfort to their patients and families, but I just don’t think I could do that day in and day out. I mean, most of your patients are going to die in your care, and in all reality, there is very little you can do about it.
Today we admitted to our service a 31 year old woman with an end stage brain tumor. Her cancer was fairly stable on her current drug regimen, however, since the age of 21 she had been trying to get pregnant without success. After starting this drug, she somehow became pregnant, much to her joy. But because of that, she had to stop her cancer medications and her tumor then started to grow rampantly. She had her baby, who is now a few months old, but in turn, I’d be surprised if she lives to the end of the month herself.
Beside the reflexive “damn… that sucks”… there are again so many questions I want to ask her that I never can. Between my weeks in the ICU, and the traumas the past few months, I’ve had quite a few patients die. Maybe I am at one of Ericson’s stages of development, where one starts to question their own mortality, but mostly, I am curious (morbidly perhaps), when you have days hour or minutes left…what does through you mind? To where what or whom do your thoughts wander? Do you have thoughts? Do you know you are dying?