I'm obviously having a hard time. I admit. I have had the MOST AMAZING journey. I'm so thankful and grateful. Unfortunately, I did have a bump and a pause for two weeks but that happens with almost every patient in chemo some point along the way. I fell in between the cracks though. I've had 5 different chemo nurses instead of one or even two... And now in my last treatment, I was even given steroids when I understood I wouldn't be getting them. When I reacted, the response felt like such a slap. I'm especially upset because it's completely uncharacteristic of the usual care I've seen here. Most every nurse I've encountered has shown utmost patience, care, and respect. In my latest, I just feel like a number. Not an individual. I voiced concern about treatment as an individual.
After realizing I'd just received a bag of Dexa-methasone before a Taxol treatment AFTER being told previously that I don't need cocktail drugs before receiving Taxol, I asked the nurse why I needed it. Her response was, "You got Dexa because you demanded it."
My response: "I don't demand things. I'm a patient here who takes interest in my treatment. I ask questions, I want to make sure I understand what's happening in my treatment."
Nurse's response: "It says in your medical file that you demanded Dexa even though you don't need it. You know Dexa is bad for you. There are serious side effects."
Me: "Listen, I've had some very bad issues with nausea after treatment and I've expressed fear about dealing with it. You connected the Dexa but you didn't ask me about my reaction to the last treatment. How are we supposed to know if I need it or not? I had no idea it said that in my chart and it was written by another nurse, why not just ask me how I feel before giving it to me especially if you think it's bad for me?"
Nurse: "You demanded it. It's in your file. Do you know there's a nurses strike going on for the past two weeks? We're understaffed as it is and not only do we not have enough nurses to deal with our regular stress, today we have double the usual patients AND the ER stole one of our nurses to help down there. I shouldn't even be working today, I should be on strike!"
Me: "Well that explains why I'm getting Dexa. I'm sorry about the strike, and I support the nurses 100%. I'm getting chemotherapy here and I feel that I've been bounced from nurse to nurse and not really explained this issue with the Dexa. It really bothers me that I'm getting a bag of steroids if I don't need them just because a nurse wrote that in my file... I don't understand it."
Nurse: We're overworked... we don't have time... blah blah blah