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Warming Hearts, Cloaking Grief

By Lori RuderHe moves over and she snuggles in close to her fianc é. She pulls their blanket over them. A special blanket made just for this moment. “I love you” she murmurs, soaking in his face and his warmth. “Goodnight lovebirds,” his mother teases as she turns out the lights.This moment is both tender and tragic: tender because they are demonstrating their love for each other, tragic because this is happening in the ICU. Her fianc é is on life support and he is dying. He moved over because I moved him over to make room for her in his narrow hospital bed. I repositioned his ventilator tubing and central lines out of her way, closed the side rail behind her for support, and helped her pull their blanket over them. This blanket was made by ICU nurses for moments like this: to have something to offer when medicine doesn’t.Using our own time and money, we gather together to make blankets. We make them in many colors and patterns, to match the many styles that come from all walks of life. They are simple fleece tie blankets, the kind a Girl Scout might make, but they are soft and warm. They are something soft amidst the harsh reality of critical illness and death, and something to provide warmth and comfort--to touch a loved one during last moments as if to capture their essence before they are gone. The blankets are a memento of touch to take with them when they leave this place and their loved one behind.We give our blankets wh...
Source: Pallimed: A Hospice and Palliative Medicine Blog - Category: Palliative Care Tags: blanket cancer comfort icu lori ruder Source Type: blogs

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Authors: Ida T, Goto T, Motoi T, Nagai I, Matsubara S, Fujiwara H, Kohyama A Abstract A bone metastasis from uterine cervical cancer normally indicates short life expectancy. Resection of the lesion is therefore palliative. The authors consider herein whether surgical resection can promote disease control while improving quality of life. A 33-year-old woman -presenting FIGO Stage IB 1 uterine cervical squamous cell carcinoma underwent a radical hysterectomy and pelvic irradiation. Twenty-two-months later, a solitary femoral metastasis was detected. Given the pain, imminent bone fracture, the patient's relative yout...
Source: European Journal of Gynaecological Oncology - Category: OBGYN Tags: Eur J Gynaecol Oncol Source Type: research
Conclusions Approximately two-thirds of patients who undergo treatment with radium-223 will experience an improvement in pain and, if it occurs, it will most likely occur within the first two cycles. Patients should be counseled about this timeline and, if pain improvement isn't achieved, palliative radiation and oral analgesic readjustment should be considered. Pain response is not associated with survival and should not be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment.
Source: Practical Radiation Oncology - Category: Cancer & Oncology Source Type: research
Authors: Andreano A, Ansarin M, Alterio D, Bruschini R, Valsecchi MG, Russo AG Abstract SUMMARY: Head and neck (H&N) tumours are a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with 5-year relative survival ranging from about 25% for the hypopharynx to 60% for the larynx in Europe. To improve survival rates, along with therapeutic improvements, it is important to standardise and optimise care received by patients with H&N tumours across different healthcare providers. To reach this goal, it is necessary to evaluate adherence to standards of received care at a population level. Published guidelines can serve as the basis to deve...
Source: Acta Otorhinolaryngologica Italica - Category: ENT & OMF Tags: Acta Otorhinolaryngol Ital Source Type: research
“Music is therapy. Music moves people. It connects people in ways that no other medium can. It pulls heart strings. It acts as medicine.” — Macklemore Much research over the years has centered on the potential, perceived and realized benefits of music. In fact, the area of study has blossomed, growing from the preliminary findings of earlier studies to recent ones that built upon them. What’s exciting is the widespread and diverse benefits that music offers to everyone, young, old and in-between. Musical training gives babies’ brains a boost. Even before babies can walk or talk, they can benef...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Brain and Behavior Creativity Happiness Health-related Motivation and Inspiration Research Self-Esteem Stress Coping Emotional Support Music Therapy musical therapy Source Type: blogs
There is very little information available on the psychological care needs of people with malignant mesothelioma. Even less is known about people who have been exposed to asbestos but do not have mesothelioma. A newly published systematic research review sheds light on the distress people experience in these situations. In March 2018, the American Journal of Industrial Medicine published an article highlighting the need for additional studies. Researchers described what is known about asbestos-affected people and how and why they experience so much mental and emotional distress. Most Affected People Exposed Through Work Th...
Source: Asbestos and Mesothelioma News - Category: Environmental Health Authors: Source Type: news
Cancer is a major cause of morbidity and mortality for older individuals. Palliative care is essential to improve the outcome of cancer treatment in terms of quality of life and treatment satisfaction. This review examines the influence of spirituality on aging in general and on the management of older cancer patients.A spiritual perspective has been associated with successful aging, and with better tolerance of physical and emotional stress, including the ability to cope with serious diseases and with isolation.
Source: Journal of Pain and Symptom Management - Category: Palliative Care Authors: Source Type: research
This study explores the associations among spiritual well-being (SWB), caregiver burden, and quality of life (QoL) in family caregivers of patients with cancer during the course of the disease. METHOD: This is a cross-sectional study. All participants (n = 199) underwent the following self-report questionnaires: the SWB-Index, the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, and the Caregiver Burden Inventory (CBI). SWB scores were dichotomized at a cutoff corresponding to the 75th percentile. Statistical analyses were made using the Student t or by chi-square test to compare high and low SWB groups.ResultThe high SWB group rep...
Source: Palliative and Supportive Care - Category: Palliative Care Authors: Tags: Palliat Support Care Source Type: research
Authors: Hundley L, Spradley S, Donelenko S Abstract OBJECTIVE: To assess the impact of tapering of chronic high dose opioid therapy in veterans prompted by the implementation of the Opioid Safety Initiative in 2013. DESIGN: IRB and VA Office of Research and Development-approved retrospective, observational chart review. SETTING: North Florida/South Georgia Veterans Health System Patients: Veterans on high dose opioid therapy (≥300 mg of morphine equivalents per day) for chronic non-cancer pain as of 1/1/2012 with an opioid agreement discontinuation note documented in the medical record were included. Ve...
Source: Journal of Opioid Management - Category: Addiction Tags: J Opioid Manag Source Type: research
Authors: Hakim RC, Edmonds KP, Atayee RS Abstract Ketamine, lidocaine, and mexiletine are potential nonopioid adjuvant medications for the use of refractory cancer-related pain, particularly when opioids are demonstrating limited objective benefit. This is a case report of a single patient admitted to a large academic medical center in the United States. The patient is a 43-year-old woman with a history of Crohn's disease complicated by rectal squamous cell carcinoma and complex, progressive, and intractable pelvic and rectal pain. Over the course of hospitalization, her pain demonstrated limited opioid responsiven...
Source: Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy - Category: Palliative Care Tags: J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother Source Type: research
Authors: Barghi K, Edmonds KP, Ajayi TA, Atayee RS Abstract Opioids are first-line therapy for cancer-related pain. In addition, corticosteroids are commonly utilized as adjuvant analgesics for pain and other symptoms in the oncology setting with limited supporting data. A retrospective analysis was conducted evaluating adult hospitalized patients receiving opioids who received once-daily dexamethasone on the recommendation of a specialty palliative care team during their hospitalization from January 1, 2015, to January 1, 2016. Primary end point was to describe prescribing patterns of dexamethasone in this patient...
Source: Journal of Pain and Palliative Care Pharmacotherapy - Category: Palliative Care Tags: J Pain Palliat Care Pharmacother Source Type: research
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