Case Study- Coping with Dying Reflection Paper

Case Study- Coping with Dying

Jesse was simply unable to believe that his wife was dying. The physician told Jesse that Jeannette was in the early stages of multiple myeloma, and that she might die in less than a year or she might have remissions and live another decade. Jesse and his wife had raised two sons, were retired and financially secure and thought the best years of their lives were ahead of them. Jesse and Jeannette were the type who approached a problem head on. They gathered all the relevant material they could find about multiple myeloma and studied it. Jeannette said that she did not want to mention her problem to her sons and friends because she expected to have long remissions and to live to be 75 years of age, at least. Why trouble her friends and family? As a result of her decision, Jesse was unable to share his fear and grief because he had promised to respect Jeannette’s wishes in that regard.
Jeannette began a series of chemotherapeutic drugs, and friends began to notice her lethargy. They began to worry about her, but she insisted, “I’m just fine.” Six months passed with a steady downward course in Jeannette’s condition. Jeanette shared with her husband that she wanted to stop her treatments “I am tired of fighting”. He replied: “You cannot leave me. You have to keep fighting. I won’t let you stop chemo”.
Jeanette’s sons began to suspect she had a malignancy, and one son, Rob, asked outright, “Are you hiding a serious illness from us?” She denied it, but Rob also noticed that Jesse was withdrawing into himself and that he was drinking more than usual. Rob knew something was wrong but was at a loss.

Questions for Reflection Paper

1. Discuss how you, as a nurse practitioner, can help Jeanette and Jesse. What are her rights regarding treatment options?
2. Discuss how you, as a nurse practitioner, can help Jeanette’s sons without compromising her request for privacy related to her condition.
3. Are there specific Ignatian values that can guide your interventions?
4. Are there specific Ignatian values that can guide the nurse’s role in supporting the grief and dying process of older adults?

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