Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Cancer Sucks

Mary Oliver
I woke up this morning really missing my little oncology kiddos that I worked with this Fall. I really needed some smiles and laughs. During my clinical internship I worked in the oncology unit at a Children's hospital. When I began I was really nervous because I didn't know how to react around my patients and their families. They are young kids with cancer, how do you go in and smile all the time when they have such difficult diagnoses? What I quickly learned is that my oncology patients were ten times more motivated to have a good time than any of my other patients. Some of my fondest moments are of hanging out with them usually laughing until I cried. Believe me, some of them were true characters. I wish I was able to post pictures of them because you would all laugh along with me!

One of the girls I worked with was newly diagnosed with Leukemia. She was admitted 5 days before I started my internship and she was still at the hospital the day I left. Over three months she sat in the same hospital room, unable to leave due to her inability to fight infections. She was a pre-teen beginning puberty and severely missing her social life. I witnessed her endure countless chemo cycles, risky medical procedures, and severe depression. At the end of each day, I would always stop by her room on the way out and discuss our plans for the next day. She would smile, mumble a "thank you, see you tomorrow" and throw up a double a thumbs up. She was absolutely amazing. She taught me so much about persevering and "just getting through the tough crap" in order to really live.

Every time I feel myself letting go and slowing down I think of her patience and motivation to kick cancer's ass and I push myself a little bit more. And did she kick cancers ass.. hard!

Please, do not take this beautiful life for granted, there are too many people fighting hard to keep theirs!

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