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Training > Experiences

Personal Experience

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Special nurses

Language: English
Country: Italy
Typology: patients and relatives
It was 2009 when I went with my father and my brother to hospital to withdraw the report: pre-carcinomatosis. It was a huge trauma that I had to endure alone, without the possibility to share it with anyone. My father asked me: well, is everything ok? Can I read the report? You know, I do not understand anything about this stuff. At that moment, I remember I felt a sense of relief after his statement and I gave him the report. My brother took my father home, he was serene because he had not been hospitalized or submitted to any visit. In my heart, anger and fear for what would happen increased exponentially, minute by minute. In these situations, knowing about the subject does not help, it is rather the opposite. I lived these moments with great anguish and sadness, but with a great certainty: we are assisted by the best doctors. The most tormented period for my father and for my whole family began: surgery, worsening of the disease with a first metastasis at the level of the vertebral column, atrocious and stressful pain, analgesic therapy, radiotherapy, chemotherapy… During chemotherapy, my father treated his favourite nurse, Davide, with a particular respect. Davide was for him the person who informed him about the schedule, who told him in advance what time he would go away, the person who hurt him less, the person who gave him more security and serenity. In this period, only one thing happened that my father lived in a very happy and serene way: the birth of his only grandson. For years, he had continued to tell me "Sabrina, when will I become grandfather, when will I push a pram…”. Vittorio gave him an important vital drive: together with my mother, they assisted him, pampered him, stood by him in his first moments of interaction with the outside world, giving him love and serenity. In spite of everything. The image of Vittorio has stayed with him in all stages of his disease. He brought with him, in his wallet, a small photo of Vittorio put next to another one portraying me. And I was really proud of that. I remember the last time I saw my father sitting on the couch: it was before leaving for my summer holidays in 2011. It was July 29 and he said: "Vittorio, I am sorry, but I won’t be able to bring you around the city on my shoulders… I am really sorry… but I cannot make it!". And these words rang out inside my brain and heart as if they expressed his desire to give in, to end his life this way… After only one week, my mother called me saying that my father was getting worse. He felt so much pain and they could no longer raise him from his bed. Once in hospital, he was immediately hospitalized… he felt it… he himself stated: "If you bring me to the hospital, I will not get out from it any more". Today my father is no more among us. He died on August 30, 2011 at 5.15 a.m. We were close to each other. I was holding his hand tight. I had asked the doctor not to make him suffer with useless attempts at intensive care. While I perceived his last breaths, I kept on caressing him and telling him that he should not worry about us, that Roberto would help mom and Vittorio would remain close to her. I regretted that my father could not see his only grandchild grow up. I felt my tears falling down… and I saw his tear falling from his left eye… He passed from sleep to death in the space of a few minutes. He had stopped suffering. Francesco, the nurse of the critical Area, took me outside the room and offered me a hot chocolate. He is a colleague of mine but, for his humanity and capacity to welcome the other, he has become my very colleague: a real benchmark, an example and a model to follow. Thanks, Francesco! I miss him so much. These are the only words I can write down.

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