In health care, we’re faced with the difficult reality that healing for some of our patients doesn’t always mean working toward a cure. And yet, you do all you can to make a circumstance nobody asked for —a title nobody wanted to wear — a little more bearable.
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Megan Mason, RN with UnityPoint at Home, knows this situation well. She’s been caring for patient, Linda Fetters, since February of this year. Linda has cancer. In the fight of her life, she’s been pursuing aggressive chemo treatments that have taken a toll on her both physically and emotionally.
“It’s just hard when you know these people are dealt a bad card, and we can’t change the outcome, but we’re doing the best to help in the meantime. If I can make it somewhat better and easier day-to-day that makes me feel like I’ve done something,” Mason says.
Mason sees her role in Linda’s life as not only someone who’s there as a medical professional to treat her disease, but someone to lift her spirits when she’s down. Someone who will do everything in her power to make sure Linda has one less thing to worry about.
“The first time I saw her, she was kind of down. But she came up from it. We developed a rapport. The littlest things take her mind off having cancer for a while. For instance, we both like pizza, so we talk about that. We pick on her husband and that kind of stuff. We don’t focus on talking about her cancer during the visits. I don’t want her to think I’m coming to her house just to see how her cancer is doing,” Mason says.
Linda’s husband, Larry, says Mason’s attitude toward their family has made a tremendous difference in their lives during a difficult time.
“She keeps our spirits up,” Larry Fetters says. “That’s the number one thing. She never wants to bring us down. She’s always happy. She comes in the door and leaves with a smile on her face. She’s number one in my book.”