Palliative care for cancer patients

Lung cancer cells have metastasized brain, time is running out, but Mr. Kien is no longer afraid. He calmly treated under the doctor, and made arrangements for the future.

Meeting Mr. Vo Van Kien, 58 years old, at the Center for Oncology Diagnosis and Treatment, 175 Military Hospital, Ho Chi Minh City, one will see a tough, tall, and proud coastal man. Without the bald head and the drug-induced pale skin, no one would think he had advanced lung cancer that had brain metastasis.

Owning a shrimp farming and shrimp feed business in Hoai Nhon, Binh Dinh is a lifelong job. It was thought that, after three years, he would "retire", his children succeeded, and we and his wife rested to enjoy old age. But a year ago, a fatal illness suddenly struck and changed fate.

"The sky collapsed when the tumor in the lung was determined to be malignant. I couldn't believe it," recalled Mr. Kien.

The man was shocked, awake all day and night. Thanks to the doctor's reassurance, encouragement and immediately give his treatment plan and prospects, he calmed down, began to fight. However, after 10 times of radiation therapy, the tumor still progressed. The disease changes from 2A to 3B. Worse, cancer cells begin to invade the brain with blood vessels. "I've never felt so desperate!"

Ms. Huynh Thi Nhung, wife of Mr. Kien and her husband from Binh Dinh to Ho Chi Minh City have chemotherapy for the third wave of lung cancer.  Photo: Thu Anh.

Ms. Huynh Thi Nhung, wife of Mr. Kien and her husband from Binh Dinh to Ho Chi Minh City have chemotherapy for the third wave of lung cancer. Photo: Thu Anh.

He told me to spread out and get used to it, not afraid of death nor fear of tormenting diseases. Only as a father, he loves his youngest daughter to work away from home and is unmarried, loves his three immature grandchildren, worries about his immature sons. And most of all, he felt sorry for his wife with all his love and sacrifice for her husband and children, how would he live if he died.

Lacking a guide, he looked for doctors to confide. At that time, the doctor sincerely told him, the hospital was always devoted to cure, but birth-old-illness-death was the inevitable rule. With the current situation, the best way is to adhere to western medicine regimen, palliative care to minimize side effects of the drug and improve quality of life. The doctor also subtly helped him answer the question "how much time is left" and provided psychological counseling for his family members.

Therefore, he got out of the vicious cycle of thinking, found himself fortunate to know first the amount of life, can actively complete the unfinished works. He decided to hand over all the work to the husband and wife, to divide the property, and orient the future for the children. At the same time, spend all of the remaining time on healing and enjoy a happy and happy life with family. Everyday, he gets up early to exercise, obeys medical orders, keeps his spirit of optimism. In free time, elderly couple holding hands, walking in the hospital campus or chatting with children and relatives.

"If I leave tomorrow, I am satisfied," said Mr. Kien.

Dr. Dao Tien Manh, Director of the Center for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment, 175 Military Hospital talked to a cancer patient.  Photo: Lam Hieu.

Dr. Dao Tien Manh, Director of the Center for Cancer Diagnosis and Treatment, 175 Military Hospital talked to a cancer patient. Photo: Lam Hieu.

For Mr. Pham Manh Tung, in Ho Chi Minh City, the death of his wife - Ms. Tran Thi Hanh - has always been "endless sadness". A few days ago, when he visited a cancer patient being treated at 175 Military Hospital, he remembered her again and burst into tears. Tears ran down the cheeks of the nearly 70-year-old man.

He shared, in 2015, the wife discovered that she had stage 3C ovarian cancer. At the time of biopsy, the tumor was broken, forcing to remove the necrotic organs to save life. Working in the medical profession, Ms. Hanh understands the risks she faces, so despite her pain, she always smiles and comforts her husband. Looking at his wife like that, he couldn't help it. He expressed his intention to bring his wife to Japan, Singapore to find fragile opportunities, the 175 Military Hospital doctors enthusiastically supported, providing medical records for patients to conveniently access international medical. Even so, the prognosis does not change.

When she returned to the center, the doctors promised, she would live another 5 years if the aggressive treatment regimen was followed. The promise was just fulfilled, she died. A week earlier, the doctor invited him to a private room to chat, explain the situation, recommend taking her home. Medical staff will visit her home to visit, give painkillers injections, massage and talk to her every day.

"I am very sad, but reassured because my grandmother passed away very peacefully, without pain", said Mr. Tung.

Being an emotional and thoughtful person, in the stage of taking care of his wife's death, Mr. Tung used to feel helpless and extremely desperate because he could not share the pain with her. Luckily, the doctors and nurses talked to him, helping him to clear his mind, to see things more lightly. Gradually, he overcame the pain of losing loved ones, and opened up more openly than before. Now, he remains in touch with the nurses and doctors who took care of his wife.

According to Dr. Lam Trung Hieu, Center for Oncology Diagnosis and Treatment, palliative care is an activity of utilizing the best available to prevent and alleviate physical, psychological and social suffering. and spirituality for people with serious, serious illnesses. Not only revolving around the main object of the patient, palliative care also accompanies the family, caregivers of the patient and medical staff in the whole process of the disease, from the time of detection to the final stage. life, after the patient's death.

Currently, the center is accepting inpatients about 400 cancer patients. All patients have received active palliative care since diagnosis. Depending on the personality, needs and responses of each patient, medical staff will have an appropriate approach. Patients in difficult circumstances, doctors will assist them in planning, allocating funds appropriately so as not to be financially exhausted, or to connect with social help.

In particular, the hospital respects the religious beliefs of each patient. Every year, the hospital invites pastors or monks to enter the hospital to give lectures, dialogues and encourage the sick to find psychological support.

People's Artist Tran Hieu sang to encourage a cancer patient at 175 Military Hospital on October 8.  Photo: Thu Anh.

People's Artist Tran Hieu sang to encourage a cancer patient at 175 Military Hospital on October 8. Photo: Thu Anh.

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