As we read stories of survivors and those who are still fighting, we call them “warriors.” Rightfully so, but there are other warriors who need recognition — the nurses and doctors who continue to help us every single day.
We often forget that they see us at the most vulnerable times in our lives, struggling to get better. Hearing our cries, seeing our pain, but also seeing those fighting and winning against this horrible disease.
According to Cancer Treatment Centers of America, the definition of an oncology nurse is: “For those with cancer, oncology nurses are the ones who are there for us during our most difficult and intimate moments in life, the ones at our bedside, educating us, encouraging us. They are also the ones behind the scenes, communicating with our doctors, coordinating our care and keeping us safe.”
Keeping us safe. Wow!
As I was going through my chemotherapy in the winter of 2013, I was amazed by what these nurses see and hear every day, and then go home to take care of their own families. Then they come back the next morning and start the process again. I always wonder: What are they thinking? What are they feeling when they see us in pain? How do they cope? How do they put aside their own issues to care for us?
They are on the front lines. They hear our complaints, anger, sorrow and pain, but they also hear our dreams, and our to-do lists when we are done with cancer. I remember wearing a crazy hat and eating Buffalo Wild Wings hot chicken wings before getting the poison injected. The reason I did this was to bring a little bit of craziness and joy to the room. I just wanted to bring a smile to the nurse’s day.
“Nurses are at the center of patient care and for this reason they can significantly influence the quality of care provided and ultimately, patient outcomes,” says Cheryl Lynn, BSN, RN, CCRN, HNB-BC, a nurse at CTCA in Philadelphia.
Nurses around the world are a special breed. They see EVERYTHING! They hear EVERYTHING! And they come back day after day. That is a true warrior! They are my heroes.
Please take a moment and thank a nurse and/or a doctor today. They need hugs, too.
Today, on my fourth anniversary of being in remission from breast cancer, I want to thank the nurses at Tri-Health in Cincinnati, Ohio, St. Elizabeth of Northern Kentucky and in hospitals all over the world. Thank you for your dedication and your passion in helping cancer patients every day. God bless each of you.
Note: Breast Cancer News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Breast Cancer News, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to breast cancer.