If I had to grade my oncology nurses, I would give them, as a group, an A+. They have saved my life, cleaned my privates, kept me company, rejoiced with me when I was discharged, and consoled me with every wave or trickle of bad news I have faced during my care.
Significant distress frequently accompanies the diagnosis and treatment of cancer but is often overlooked and is rarely screened for, according to Jimmie C. Holland, MD, of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.
In the February issue we published the article “Adherence to Therapy at Home: The Personal Touch.” This article, written by MMA, a woman undergoing treatment for cancer, addressed the idea that patients feel overwhelmed when they return home with “a bagful” of medications that they must incorporate into their daily life.
We asked our online reading community to let us know if this is a topic they address with their patients. The answer was a resounding yes. All respondents said they do talk to patients about adhering to their medication regimen at home. Respondents indicated that they provide information about how and when to take the medication for the best results.
Conversations with terminally ill patients about treatment options for end-of-life care often occur when the patient is in pain, heavily medicated, and quite ill—on average, just 1 month before the patient dies.