Three Things I Learned from a Chemo Nurse

My friend and I at Acadia National Park

Everyone has a friend that goes way back. I have one that has shared college classes, courtship woes, engagement and wedding plans, childbirth stories, vacations, experiences raising special needs children, care during grief and loss, philosophical conversations over wine and cheese, and now talks about empty nesting. She is a treasure, I tell you. The rare times that we see each other, we skip all the peripheral points of conversation and go straight for the jugular.

She’s also worked as cancer nurse, so I asked her what she has learned through such a unique process, and she shared some nuggets of wisdom straight from her heart of gold. I now share them with you.

LIVE ONE DAY AT AT TIME. I have never learned this more effectively than I did/do watching patients literally live one day at a time.

THE HUMAN SPIRIT IS WAY MORE RESILIENT THAN WE GIVE IT CREDIT FOR. I have watched countless people rise to challenges and seemingly insurmountable obstacles again and again and again …far more often than most people would endure.

IT’S OK TO LAUGH. People often are surprised to find out how much our patients and we healthcare folk laugh. The “your-job-must-be-so-sad” mentality is true in part, but there is much in the way of laughter in our office. It is really good medicine.

Many thanks to my dear friend Kathi for sharing these lessons and so many other things with me over the years. I do love you so much!

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