Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I’m sorry. I didn’t get it.

I share this for those who are “experiencing” cancer – peace and blessings.

Here Comes the Sun

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Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I’m sorry. I didn’t get it.

This thought has been weighing heavy on my heart since my diagnosis. I’ve worked in oncology nearly my entire adult life. I started rooming and scheduling patients, then worked as a nursing assistant through school, and finally as a nurse in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. I prided myself in connecting with my patients and helping them manage their cancer and everything that comes with it. I really thought I got it- I really thought I knew what it felt like to go through this journey. I didn’t.

I didn’t get what it felt like to actually hear the words. I’ve been in on countless diagnoses conversations and even had to give the news myself on plenty of occasions, but being the person the doctor is talking about is surreal. You were trying to…

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The butterfly and a tender heart…

Today, one of my middle school students found a butterfly with a wounded wing. She walked around with that butterfly cupped in her hands protecting it for a long time.

When the bell rang, it was time to come in to my classroom.  Initially, my thoughts were, “… my goodness she’s going to bring a big butterfly in the classroom and it’s going to be a huge distraction.”  

At this point, while the students were lining up and about to enter the room, I said, “We probably need to let the butterfly go and come in the class.”

By now other students began to hold the butterfly and it was being passed around. There were some discussions about whether or not it would survive if it were let go.  One student cupped the butterfly and took it outside and set it in the grass.

I noticed the student who initially had the butterfly was crying. There were tears streaming down her cheeks. I asked her what the matter was and she said it (the butterfly) won’t survive. She was worried about the butterfly and what would happen to it.

So, I asked her if she would feel better if she could hang on to that butterfly. She said yes. So I went and retrieved a Styrofoam cup because I knew the butterfly was not able to fly.  She gently placed it in the cup; and looked after it for the remainder of the class.

Although she was pleased, she continued to sob over the butterfly for a little while longer.  Soon enough, she was back to normal!  She said she wasn’t sure why she was crying after I gave her the cup. I told her it was alright to have a tender heart and not to feel bad for crying. 

Deep down I really admired her love and concern for another living creature.