My greatest nursing story

I was one of the “bibong boys” in an exclusive shool in the Philippines, studying AB Philosophy and Human Resource Development. I was very enthusiatic to learn about Socrates as he once said “ wisest is she who knows what she does not know” the books of Plato, the teachings of Aristotle and the famous “cogito ergo sum” of Rene Descartes and so on and on. Philosphy was my first love as i was so keen to finish the degree and pursue law later on. However, life has its own twists, these transitions changed everything in just a blink of an eye. My mom was diagnosed of pancreatic cancer and unluckily it was on its fourth stage, the final stage. My whole family suffered from this illness not physiologically but mentally and emotionally. It was angusihing, depressing and extremely painful. My mom is such a figher, she wanted to live. She wanted to live!!! We did everything to sustain her life. In one of our conversations, she said “ anak, gusto kong magkaanak na nurse”. I profoundly and deeply know what she meant by her statement. She wanted me to be a nurse so that one of her (nine) children can porfessionally look after her without hiring a private nurse. The kind of care at its best, at the highest possbile quality that a nurse can render to a patient is what my mother wanted to have during the course of her throbbing condition.

As a loving son to my loving mother, I did what she wished for. I unreluctantly shifted to the college of nursing the following semester. I must admit, this learning experience is far from what i used to endure. Anatonmy and Physiology was my first major subject. I was literally crying because of the nature of the studies, i had to memorise every part and function of the body which was quite odd for me. I was trained to comprehend different intellectual ideologies but not to memorise the whole textbook. My grades were not satisfying as compared to my former course. Nevertheless, I was in a very uncomfortable position but I had to stand with it thinking it was for my mom. She noticed how i struggled during my first months of that semester. She told me “anak, kung ayaw mo talaga yan, shift ka na ulit. Ayokong patay na ako sinisisi mo pa ako na gawin ang hind mo gusto”. She gave me the chance and the choice but i opted to continue considering the benefit it will deliver to her when I finished it. I buckeld down and equipped myself with determination, hard work and full attention until I have become properly disposed in all my nursing subjects. It is for my mom after all.

Yet, another twist occurred. The most tragic and excruciating twist happened in September 2004. My mom’s condition aggravated one year after the diagnosis. Immediately after she has completed the course of chemotherapy and radiation therapy, coming in and out of the hospital has become a routine to us. She believed that everything will go back to its proper places after these courses but it turned out otherwise. There was a massive accumulation of fluids in her peritoneal cavity (ascites). A pigtail had to be placed to facilitate drainage of the fluids. Veins had been destroyed due to nemurous punctures and putting up IV lines was such an ardouos job for nurses and doctors in the hospital. I did not attend school during that time. A huge consideration was released from the Dean’s college to excuse me from all my classes and exams. I stayed with my mom in the hospital. I looked after her the way she wanted me to. The quality of care that a nurse could ever render to a patient was received by mom. I achived my greatest nursing experience in taking good care of the most significant person in my life. Futhermore, i learned nursing not in the four corners of the classroom but in the actual care to her, thus I learned to have a heart for patients whilst I was there looking after my mom.

The day that we all knew was coming has arrived on the 29th Oct 2004, whilst all of us were surrounding my mom in her death bed, she achieved death after three long purposeful breaths, and i am pleased to say that it was in my hands. It was my greatest story as a nurse.

Nursing may not be my first choice. I know i am not the only one who had this similar dilema in this craft. it is blood, sweat and tears completing this course and yet we ask ourselves if this is really the kind of profession that we want to endure for the rest of our lives. In my case, i did it for the sake of love. It was a fulfilled promise in my part. Regret did not come across my mind as i would not help at all. I have done my part and i am exualtant that i have lived what my mom had visioned for me. After two years in London, i have decided to go back to the Philippines to explore some avenues to fulfill the dreams of my own.

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  • Dana

    teary eyed…. indeed a great nursing story. 🙂

    • oj

      I hope u were inspired 🙂

  • third

    well said. cheers to the new adventure.

    • oj

      Thanks…im a bit apprehensive too…:)

  • zhelle

    so nice.. i remember two years ago when my dad was diagnosed of having ALL (acute lymphocytic leukemia). eto din ung time na napatunayan ko na i was born to be a nurse..sept 19 of that same year my father left us….

  • Irene

    Such a nice story~~

    • oj

      Thank you…

  • tine

    sorry for the loss of your mom but your story is very touching..well done and good luck to your future plan..always be proud to be a nurse.

    • oj

      Thanks…i am proud to be one..ang hirap ding tapusin un ah…

  • Nante 89

    I sympathize your story about your mom.I also have same story nursing my mom for 6 months int the hospital due to her stage 2 cervix cancer,god is good she still alive,that’s why i know now how important our nurses in the hospital and the lives of sick people.

  • joan

    “I achieved my greatest nursing experience in taking good care of the most significant person in my life.” these words struck me d most.I hope someday I will do that too with the same dedication that U did w/ur mom.I’m glad it left U more determined to finish what U started. Good piece! It made me cry for a few min.=) U made your mom proud! ;D

    • oj

      Kya mo yun joan…its all because of love..:)

  • 36something.

    Napaiyak naman ako nito,naalala ko tuloy dad ko,he died last 2007 from pancreatic cancer and my biggest regret is hindi ako naging nurse sa kanya noong time na he was ill at the hospital kasi kasisimula ko palang mag abroad.Until now,umiiyak pa rin ako because of regret at guilt.Nag aalaga ako ng ibang tao sa abroad pero sarili kong papa di ko naalagaan.I hope he forgave me,i love him so much.And to you OJ,thank you for sharing your story.

    • hi 36something! i was a private nurse for more than 3years siguro.nung nagkasakit mama ko for rectal cancer she’s far away from me. i want to be her private nurse pero wala akong magawa hindi ako makapunta ng U.S. But, i was inspired by my co-worker, a private nurse too, with the same situation said “kahit hindi mismong nanay natin ang inaalagaan natin ngayon alam ko may nakatutok at mag-aalaga sa kanila tulad ng pag-aalaga natin sa pasyente natin”. God is so good! Now,my mom is cancer-free!

    • oj

      Ang hirap ng pinagdaanan mo 36something.. It must be really throbbing..pero sa tingin ko, u shud forgive yourself…the gulit feeling that u have is a great burden to carry all your life…thank u for reading my blog…

  • Rain

    I salute you!

    • oj

      Thanks rain….

  • Paul

    What a great experience.. I was touched by your story. You really love your mother.

    • oj

      I think every one’s gud story can be rooted to their moms… What do u think paul?

  • susan

    As long I could be able to laughed even Im understress I still love working as CNA.I know someday I need to changed my job, but i will never regret;s that God! allow me to see the different ng aspect of individual’s life.As day’s turned to year’s lagi kung dinadasal huwag sana akong mamatayan nang pasyente! takot ako. At kung ano-ano kaugalian nang mga pilipino, andiyan ang dasalan na huawag siyang mamatay sa shift, itali ang corner nang mga sheet sa mag kabilang dulo.ang hindi ko mamakalimutan nang onetime mag patulong ang isang Mexican friend ko, I shared good relationship to my co-worker;s kaya naman hindi ako makatanggi.halos ma-ihi ako nang makita ko ang pt;s niya kasi nakadilat pa ito. Summer! It’s is Ok! if pray and closed her eyes sabi sa akin kasama ko. Okey! sagot noong ma-pray siya sabay hawak niya sa mata at pinkit niya. saka ako lumapit. sabi niya we need to clean her. Can you turned her on my side. utos niya.Sumunod naman ako nang e-pushed ko ang ito ganun nalang ang gulat ko biglang isang malakas na UNGOL ang narinig ko! wla pang isang minuto nag ssigaw ako palabas sa hallway ! She is a live! she is alive. lahat nagulat, pati supervisor. Ano ka ba 4 na oras na patay iyan” No! No! she’s a live. Summer! she is dead! sabi nang kaibigan ko. You scared me to death?? sigaw niya.That what we last breath!! mula noon hindi na ako sumama sa kanya…

  • oj

    Thank you for your comments and shares. I just checked my account today and just learned about these comments..thanks for reading. I hope this story becomes an inspiration.. God speed…

  • oj

    I also have a blog in definitely filipino, entitled: sulat ko kay ima..feel free to read it…thanks

  • KRISTINE F.

    truly inspiring! way to go oj! =)

  • aubrey_RN

    thanks for sharing this great story of yours… it’s indeed priceless caring for your mother until her last breath..