I was spending some time pinning this afternoon and came across this pin….
Underneath the pin it says “oncology nurse”. I 100% agree with this. On Friday afternoon I sat with my coworker who has been an oncology nurse for around 15 years as she had a meltdown asking me how she is going to continue to do this. Every nurse has these, no matter what field… but I feel like it is especially hard in a field like oncology. We see people’s lives getting cut short and changed drastically every day. We mourn the loss of people who’s lives and families we have poured into month after month.
Just a few weeks ago I sat at my desk as one of the dietitians I work with and I stared at each other. In the span of a month we had lost two patients in their 30s. Two young moms. Two amazing people. And we stared at each other and asked “how do we even begin to process this? how?”
It isn’t easy to understand why cancer happens to so many amazing people. It isn’t easy to watch people suffer. But I know this. I know that at this point in my life I was created to do this. I know that I can walk out of my job each day knowing that I have touched lives. I know that as hard as those moments of grief are, they are worth it.
They are worth it because I have been gifted with the opportunity to walk through this time of life with these people. To be let in. To be trusted. To rejoice over small victories with them. My job is a gift, my career path is a gift, and even when it seems impossible to grieve anymore… when I dread going to work because I feel so emotionally spent and the crazy days seem never ending. I think back to the moments when those sweet patients of mine who have moved on from this life looked at me and thanked me. They hugged me and allowed me to cry with them. They hugged me and allowed me to rejoice with them. Those moments of walking down the hall where they put their arm around me and thank me for being their nurse.
I’m not doing this because it is easy. I’m doing it because my patients make it worth it and they help to make me stronger by their strength every day.