Almost four years have passed. Almost four years since that hot summer day when I was diagnosed with cancer. Who would’ve thought that cancer would be the best thing that happened to me? Not that I wanted it. But I learned and gained and grew so much because of it.
Post-cancer I’m more conscious of my health. I maintain a healthy weight I see my doctor on a regular basis I have scopes and scans and tests. All to keep an eye out in case of a possible recurrence.
I can’t say I never worry. But between doctor’s visits I put it out of my mind.
In fact sometimes it’s hard to imagine that I actually went through cancer. I now work as an oncology nurse treating patients with leukemia lymphoma and other types of cancers. Every shift I work there is someone whose hand I hold whose back I rub whose heart I try to touch. I don’t always share my personal story with my patients. But every so often I do.
Last night I walked into a patient’s room at three in the morning. She was sitting on the side of her bed crying silently. I sat down next to her and put my arm around her shoulder. She leaned her head against me and cried. I pushed the corner of my shirt over a bit and showed her the mediport that’s still implanted under my skin.
“Welcome to the Cancer Survivor’s Club” I told her. “You’re an honorary member. It’s the best club in the world.” She lifted up her head and blinked. I continued “I of course am the queen of this club. I will not give that title up. But you are welcome to be the princess the court jester the president… any role you choose.”