Today, at work, we had a patient’s case presented to us, for educational purposes. I have already been faced with sad, and ugly situations before, but this.. oh this beats them all.
It was a case of a very aggressive brain tumor in a 9 year old child. That particular tumor is known to be a very bad responder to chemo and radiotherapy, and in that child’s case, is non-surgical as well, given its localisation.
I have seen so many children with brain tumors, but there was always hope, either with surgical procedures or the chemo/radiotherapy. I never had a case where there would literally be nothing that could be done to improve the outcome, even if it was a tiny positive change. I’ve read about it and studied it in textbooks..sure.. but I never had it in real life practice..
The patient that was presented today has, at the most, 2 years on earth… 2 years…
How do you tell a child, innocent as an angel, that he has 2 years tops to live? How do you break the awful news to his parents and family? How do you tell them that even with all the medical breakthroughs and advancement in the 21st century, there is absolutely nothing we can do to save his life?
That feeling of helplessness is the worst feeling ever.. so I’ve come to realise. I really think that I never had a worst ‘start of my day’.. Then again, life continues, and we need to keep pushing forward… Hoping that the next day will be better and brighter.
Life is so ironic in that way…