'Not Giving Up Yet': Palliative Care in the Elderly

Betty R. Ferrell, PhD, RN


September 09, 2016

'I Have to Stay Healthy'

Nina is an 82-year-old black woman who has recurrent breast cancer. The recurrence was diagnosed when she presented with back pain, which was then determined to be caused by bone metastases. Nina is a retired piano teacher and the primary caregiver for her 83-year-old husband, Ned, who has Parkinson disease.

Nina has been in good health, with only minor hypertension and arthritis. She walks 2 miles a day with a neighbor. Her three adult children all live out of state. She has expressed her desire to seek aggressive treatment for the recurrent cancer "because she has to stay healthy to take care of Ned."


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