Reflection Paper Example

Published: 2018-12-20
Reflection Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Reflection Medicine Cancer
Pages: 8
Wordcount: 2188 words
19 min read

The story about battles breast cancer

The story of Madeleine is about a woman who endures and battles breast cancer for more than eight years. Her doctors made a projection that she would not pass the five-year mark but Madeleine manages to go steady; her faith in God and her will to live through myriad challenges posed by the disease enable her to endure cancer. What comes off as very surprising when it comes to the story of Madeleine is that she played her role as a patient; she followed the well-known instruction revolving around self-examination, and she kept examining herself. The problems, however, is that her physician was misguided in matters revolving around cancer and made Madeleine think that there was nothing serious about her lump. Besides, the physician further told Madeleine that it was highly unlikely that she would develop cancer at the age of 33. The story of Madeleine is a surefire way and lesson of saying that only we know our bodies more than anyone else. Madeleine felt that something was not right with her breasts for a very long time; even though her hunches were contrary to the reports given by her doctor, she never doubted her instincts concerning her condition. There are many ideologies that come to mind when one reads the story of Madeleine. Upon reading the story, I got to ask myself "What if Madeleine had visited another doctor, would her diagnosis be more accurate?" In addition to that, the thoughts that raced through my mind with respect to the story revolve around why Madeleine had a fear of cancer that had nothing to do with her family history and everything to do with an admonition that she would one day have cancer. It is rather strange that one day Madeleine tells her husband that she would one day get breast cancer as they were watching a television broadcast on the disease. This paper will present a discussion regarding Madeleine's journey through cancer and the life lessons that it gives (Kitamura & Pollard, 2016).

Trust banner

Is your time best spent reading someone else’s essay? Get a 100% original essay FROM A CERTIFIED WRITER!

Cancer is an unforgiving disease in that it eats away the body of the sufferer. Madeleine experienced this in many ways. First and foremost the mastectomy in itself took her breast so that it was no more, in some way, this procedure took away an important part of her, her femininity. In as much as this moment is trying for Madeleine, she remains strong, and her family is supportive throughout. Afterward, more challenges come about when her cancer spreads and more chemotherapies and radiotherapies become the norm. Treatment after treatment makes Madeleine frail, and she started to lose her hair. She is not afraid, and at some point, she takes an electric clipper to take it all down. In a nutshell, Madeleine's body is consumed by the breast cancer, and she loses weight and becomes thin. Not only has cancer done this to her but the treatment procedures. For example in the June 1993, cancer had spread to Madeleine's hips and joints; fine radiation and a round of chemotherapy were required to make her feel better but weaker. It is very much important for nurses and physicians to encourage their patients at times like this; this is because not everyone has the strength such as that of Madeleine. In fact, it is even harder for people that are without faith. Since R.Ns spend the most time with patients, it is befitting if they are the ones doing the most of the bedside manner (DeSantis, Ma, Bryan &Jemal, 2014).

Psychosocial Factors That Influence the Outcome of the Story

Many medical professionals such as nurses have come to see that patients full of faith such as Madeleine live for longer as opposed to those with less confidence. What faith does is that it accords boundless peace to the individual involved. It is this same type of faith that kept her going in the latter stages of the breast cancer. The oncologists and the nurses that attended to Madeleine in the course of her illness were impressed because, despite the fact that it was foreseen she would not live beyond five years with such a disease, she managed to live for a period spanning almost a decade.

When Madeleine learns of her beloved mother's death, the story saddens her, but she refuses to be shaken. Madeleine's sister, who is a nurse in a Manitoba hospital, tells her that their mother died a peaceful death. It is amazing how Madeleine takes in this piece of news; she thanks, God that their mother did not die in pain (Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening, 2016).

There is a myriad psychosocial factor that affects the results of Madeleine's story. Psychosocial factors or a psychosocial approach to the story perceives Madeleine in the context of the combined influence which psychological factors and the present social environment have on their mental and physical wellness and their capacity to function.

Paramount importance

One factor that comes out clearly in the story of Madeleine is the support that her family accords to her. Whenever one member of a family gets a terrible disease, it is of paramount importance that one is supported by the rest of the pack. Right from the start; the mastectomy, the chemotherapy, the entirety of her journey with cancer, right up to her death, Madeleine's family never abandons her. Her husband most especially becomes her pillar, and together with their three sons, they can go through a difficult moment in their lives. In essence, it is the support that keeps Madeleine going despite the difficult battle of breast cancer that she had at her disposition (Malmgren, Atwood & Kaplan, 2016).

Another psychosocial factor that helps define the story is the strong faith in God that Madeleine had before and after she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was well aware of the fact that it was her strong faith that kept her going through the ages. Were it not of her faith; it is very probable that Madeleine would not have been able to last even five years to start with (Lewis, 2013).

Psychologically, Madeleine was a strong woman that was able to let go of the things she could no longer control because of her cancer. For example, we get to learn that she is not able to clean her house as much as she did because it she is weak. This is partly because even though her husband and her sons might have helped her as much as they could, there was a way she used to clean and now she does not see her house that way anymore.

Economic factors influencing the Outcome of the story

About the economic factors that emanate from the story, we can mention that the breast cancer brought about several economic challenges to Madeleine and her family. Treating the condition is not easy because the medication and the chemotherapy are an expensive affair. What's more, the fact that Madeleine had already had a mastectomy but later cancer spread to other parts of her body is a surefire way of telling that she had already spent a lot for the surgery and she was yet going to spend a lot of money on the illness.

Surely, there are some invaluable insights and key lessons that we can learn from the story of Madeleine; whether one is in the nursing profession or whether one a layman. The first lesson is that having a more pronounced faith in the things of God can help us live longer through life despite the challenges that may be at our disposition. For example, even though the doctors had made projections that Madeline would not be alive by the end of five years, she beats all odds and lives for nine years despite cancer that was after her life so bad. Secondly one gets to learn that as a cancer patient life is not over, and still auspicious things and bad things happen to people with cancer; it does not mean that a cancer diagnosis is the end of life and like Madeleine it is important to seize the opportunities of joy and laughter as they come, they can help any patient live life fully. Ultimately, whether a patient engages or withdraws around life, it will unfold around the said patient.

After a person is diagnosed with cancer and goes through several treatments, one's original looks may slightly or drastically change. In as much as friends who visit a patient for the first time may be shocked, such awkward and uncomfortable moments are usually brief and fleeting.

Applications, Palliative Care, and CANO Standards

Madeleine's response to chemotherapy was not good; after the chemo sessions she would vomit and feel fatigued a lot; vomiting all that she had in her stomach and leaving nothing else until she could do was heave. What she would have done is go back to the cancer clinic and ask for help; perhaps medication to make her feel better and a different approach to the chemotherapy. Moreover, it became very apparent that undergoing cancer treatment needs a patient to be conscious of his or her nutrition and the number of tasks that can be conducted within a single day. For instance, Madeleine could not undergo chemotherapy because her blood count was low and because she could not undergo chemotherapy (Menendez, Vellon, Espinoza &Lupu, 2016).

There are some ways I would use what I learned in this course to give support to Madeleine and her Madeleine. From the position of a health care provider i.e. a nurse, what I would do best is make sure Madeleine is helped to get the best nursing care where she lives and at home. With something similar to stage 4 breast cancers all that was left and required of us was to take good care of Madeleine. With the cancer treatment being so expensive, it is likely that Madeleine and her family experienced financial challenges. Being aware of these possible problems, I would talk to Madeleine's husband in person and tell him i.e. Klaus, to marshal financial support from friends and family(Kitamura & Pollard, 2016). I would also assume the position of a friend and give a piece of my contribution. The above approach I would deem as Palliative care. Also concerning palliative care, since Madeleine's breast cancer could not be prevented no more, all that health professionals like myself could offer her was impeccable assessment and treatment of pain and myriad other problems (Economou, 2014). It is also worth mentioning that for Madeleine, Palliative care revolved around making sure her nutrition was right, her pain was minimized, and that she took all her medication at the right time.

CANO standards dictate that patients diagnosed with cancer or any other illnesses have to be accorded the best care regarding quality and patient centeredness. Patients should, for instance, be involved in the making of decisions and also advised on the best approaches regarding care and treatment. For both myself and other nurses that attended to Madeleine, all that can be said is that the CANO standards were of importance to us and still are important. What the CANO standards do is that they help advance the profession and practice of nursing to improve health outcomes for patients like Madeleine and strengthen the country's not-for-profit and publicly funded health system (Hall, 2015).

What the story of Madeleine has taught me is to be resilient with every situation that I get to face in life. Madeleine chooses to remain healthy despite all her challenging conditions.

Breast cancer is a serious illness that can lead an individual to an early grave if it is not detected early. Madeleine's cancer was detected much later because there was some incompetence in her doctor. The case might have been different if she had gone to another physician, told of her lump, and was examined. Cancer treatment is expensive, and if one is not affluent, help from friends and members of the extended family are necessary.


Advisory Committee on Breast Cancer Screening. (2016). Screening for breast cancer in England: past and future. Journal of Medical Screening.

DeSantis, C., Ma, J., Bryan, L., &Jemal, A. (2014). Breast cancer statistics, 2013. CA: a cancer journal for clinicians, 64(1), 52-62.Early Breast Cancer Trialists' Collaborative Group. (2015). Aromatase inhibitors versus tamoxifen in early breast cancer: patient-level meta-analysis of the randomized trials. The Lancet, 386(10001), 1341-1352.

Economou, D. (2014). Palliative Care Needs of Cancer Survivors. Seminars In Oncology Nursing, 30(4), 262-267. doi:10.1016/j.soncn.2014.08.008 Absent 3.

Hall, A. (2015). An overview of end-of-life care in the community setting. Journal of Community Nursing, 28(6), 36-43.

Lewis, K. (2013). How nurses can help ease patient transitions to end of life care: Many issues combine to enable an individual to achieve a good d 2.

Kitamura, T., & Pollard, J. W. (2016). Abstract PR17: CCL2-induced chemokine cascade promotes breast cancer metastasis via retention of metastasis-associated macrophages.

Malmgren, J., Atwood, M., & Kaplan, H. (2016). Abstract P6-02-07: Persistence of patient detected breast cancer in the mammography screening era: 1990-2013.

Menendez, J. A., Vellon, L., Espinoza, I., &Lupu, R. (2016). The metastasis inducer CCN1 (CYR61) activates the fatty acid synthase (FASN)-driven lipogenic phenotype in breast cancer cells. Oncoscience, 3(7-8), 242.

Cite this page

Reflection Paper Example. (2018, Dec 20). Retrieved from

Request Removal

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SpeedyPaper website, please click below to request its removal:

Liked this essay sample but need an original one?

Hire a professional with VAST experience!

24/7 online support

NO plagiarism