Personal Narrative: Radiation Therapy

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I had been a Radiation therapist for seventeen years when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer. I knew all too well what the next year or so would be like. His lung cancer had spread to his mediastinal lymph nodes, designating his disease as stage three of four. He did not have a favorable prognosis. I knew we would treat him aggressively in hope of a cure, but the reality was that the numbers were against him and he would eventually succumb to his disease.
Both of my parents had smoked cigarettes scents they were teenagers. After I became an adult and in the medical field I would tell them about some of my patients and the issues they were dealing with because of their smoking habits. They showed concern for their health and tried
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It wasn’t long and he had his consults and was told about his options. The whole family went to his first appointments. He was very depressed and felt his situation was hopeless. After hearing about his treatments and feeling that it could cure or prolong his life he was willing to go thought radiation and chemotherapy. It was difficult for him and the family. He dreaded the chemotherapy and the side effects of the radiation. We were all relieved when the treatments were done. He seemed tired, but had no major issues occurred as a result of the harsh treatments.
Our relief was short term. After dads six month follow up they found more disease just above where he was treated with radiation. It was suggested that he have more radiation to avoid the mass in his chest from invading a vessel and causing him to bleed out. Another month of radiation treatment where started. Dad had a hard time going through the chemotherapy and was very disappointed that his cancer did not appear to respond to it. His Medical Oncologist offered him salvage chemotherapy. He did do more chemotherapy, but I felt he was doing it for my mom who was having a hard time accepting his
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I was his Radiation Therapist for each treatment. It was difficult to have my dad be my patient, but I was glad I could be there supporting him.
After several months his disease was no longer controlled and our focus turned to comfort care and hospice. I was able to take a family medical leave and help my parents through the months that followed. Dad seemed more at ease than I expected and enjoyed having family and friends stop by and visit. He had time to make arrangements, look at his finances and accepted his mortality.
Late one night my mother called me in hysterics. Dad passed away after had started coughing forcefully. By how my mother described it, I felt he ended up bleed out into his lungs during the coughing episode. Something we were hoping the second course of radiation would have prevented. I was very distraught by his death. I knew my dad probably only had weeks left to live, but I was very upset when it happened. Maybe I would have felt the same way whenever it happened. It is very difficult to accept the loss of a loved one. Plus I felt that the treatments I help give him had failed to do him any good. It made me question the value of my profession and even

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