Life changed for my family and I on the morning of May 22, 2011 and it will never be the same. Losing my Father to cancer was the most difficult thing I have gone through in my life, but it has also made me the person and nurse I am today. Although my Dad never got to witness the type of nurse I have become I can sense his presence each and everyday as he gives me the strength and grace to help others fight their battle. I’ll never forget my Dad’s final words to me. He said, “I’m going to make you proud of me” and did he ever. Now it is my hope that I have made you proud Daddyo!
Often, when I say I am an oncology nurse, people immediately get a confused, sympathetic look on their face. They usually reply with something along the lines of, “Wow, that must be hard.” Well, yes, it is hard—very hard—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Many people can’t understand why someone would want to work in this field. I don’t know how many times I have cared for and bonded with patients and their families, only to see them lose their battle with cancer and each time I feel like I lose a little piece of myself.
But, I am an oncology nurse because I love my patients and each one has added an element of substance to my life. They teach me so much about life, love, family, friendship, perseverance, gratitude, and even myself. They are the sweetest, most appreciative, and grateful people I have had the pleasure of knowing. Their entire world has been rocked by a diagnosis of cancer, and somehow, they still seem to find the strength within themselves to fight. It is my responsibility as an oncology nurse to help my patients through this difficult road. We become family and to me that is a privilege. We cry together to the sound of bad news and we laugh at the sight of our own silliness. Together we take just one day at a time, and are thankful for every victory, big or small. My patients repeatedly tell me how much I do for them, how much I mean to them, but the secret to how I as an oncology nurse can do what we I do lies in what my patients leave me with. I receive their gifts of grace and humility and apply them to others I care for. It is a circle of love.
Cancer touches all of us in some way and we must stop this disease in its tracks. Every dollar I raise is another step along the road to finding cures for cancer.
This will be my first marathon and I dedicate it to supporting the FIGHTERS, admiring the SURVIVORS, honoring the TAKEN and never ever giving up HOPE.
Please support my efforts by giving generously and help reach the ultimate finish line: a world without cancer!!!