Today, I had my last radiation appointment. Physically, I feel pretty tired but emotionally I am euphoric! Treatment officially completed. As I was rolling out of the CT scan tube with which I have a love/hate relationship, I started to cry and shout at the same time. My nurse/technician (named Hope no-less), started to hoot and cry with me. It was a great moment.
My husband came with me. He is a superstar. We brought cupcakes that the girls and I had made to give to all the nurses and medical staff who have been so kind to me these last weeks. My nurses have been amazing. In the past seven months, I have been tended to by no fewer than 30 of them—I wish I could remember all their names. I have been overwhelmed by their support and nurturing and have benefitted greatly from the advice they’ve shared, including such pearls as how to buy a wig, how short hair works, best post-cancer yoga class, how to train for a marathon, how to make a vein pop out (okay, that’s not fun or crazy, but necessary), and how to make your doctor answer ALL your questions before he/she turns around and walks out of the room.
There is a shortage of nurses. It is no wonder. It is not for the meek of heart or stomach. They see and take care of some ugly situations, yet rarely have I run into a nurse who hasn’t done it with a smile. I’ve asked some of my nurses why they stay in such a difficult profession and, without exception, they all say that they wouldn’t trade it for anything. I hope that the nurses who have helped me know how much I have benefitted from their choice.
One of the companies with which I have had the privilege of working, Johnson & Johnson, has helped with program to promote the value of nursing. In it’s eighth year, “Discover Nursing” is a great way to get a better appreciation for the field. From this patient to all nurses, thank you.