Mr. Popov's Cancer
Tatiana works as a nursing assistant at Saint Peter’s Hospital. Some of her patients have cancer. Cancerous tumors can grow in many parts of the body, including the brain, liver, colon, breasts, and lungs. One of Tatiana’s patients is Mr. Popov. A few years ago, he felt constant pain in his lower abdomen, and his doctor tested his organs for cancer. He had a malignant tumor in his liver, so his doctor discussed treatment options with him.
Sometimes, surgeons can remove the cancerous part of an organ if the cancer has not metastasized, or spread to other organs. In some patients, doctors can use radiation, or high-energy x-rays, to destroy the cancer cells. Other patients receive chemotherapy treatments in which patients are injected with chemicals that can slow down the growth of the cancer cells. Some patients receive both radiation and chemotherapy.
Mr. Popov’s liver cancer had metastasized, so he could not have surgery to remove the cancer cells. His doctor recommended chemotherapy treatments to Mr. Popov. The treatments often cause nausea, diarrhea, hair loss, and dry skin. Mr. Popov has a loss of appetite, so Tatiana makes sure he gets small portions of his favorite foods frequently. She makes him fruit smoothies for an afternoon snack. Tatiana gave him a mouth rinse to use for his dry mouth, a side effect of the chemotherapy. She also helps him go to the bathroom frequently when he has diarrhea or if he has nausea.
Chemotherapy makes Mr. Popov extremely tired, but he tries to exercise a little every day. He is more likely to get an infection while he is having chemotherapy, so Tatiana couldn’t care for him when she had a cold. When she returned, he appreciated her talking with him and listening to his worries. When he feels depressed about his cancer, talking to someone who is kind and caring helps.