When someone walks into the ER with a complaint that sounds benign, like abdominal pain or constipation, and we do a CT scan that ends up showing metastatic carcinoma.
It just seems like life can be so randomly cruel.
I don’t know if it’s because I’m still processing my participation in the COVID disaster here in NYC or because I had cancer, but I seem particularly sensitive to this shit now.
I used to think that it was harder for younger nurses to process the random tragedies we see every day in the ER, but now I’m not so sure.
When you’re young you feel invincible – death and disease aren’t on your personal radar. As a 63 year old cancer survivor who also had a potentially fatal run-in with sepsis, I don’t feel invincible at all.
I already know what it feels like when you’re not sure if death is imminent, but it’s so close you can feel it in the room.
Nothing is ever the same after that.