This is a place where we come to talk about how we cope with cancer.  Some of us are in the middle of the fight and some of us have been through the worst of it and are coping with loss. 

Have you ever wondered how oncology nurses cope with being in the fight every single day? I mean this is a career choice that boggles the mind.

Take the infusion room, where nurses dispense bags upon bags of chemotherapy.  These men and women don’t just hang a bag and move on to the next chair. Nurses know their patients.  Everyone knows everyone. It’s not unusal to be greeted with a hug and a “How are you?”  The conversation could move on to talk about the family, or a favorite sports team.  Where ever it goes, the nurse and the patient, they’ve bonded.  They are on this mission together.  This could go on for years.  These nurses have extended families that number in the hundreds.  The cancer patient and the cancer nurse….this is quite a team.

The same goes for the oncology nurses stationed on the cancer floors of the hospital.  Some patients are there for weeks.  These nurses become the thread that connects patients to their doctors and to the outside world.  Hospitalized patients appreciate a friendly, skilled nurse. 

And what about the nurses?  My bet is they appreciate the same in their patients.  Many good friendships are forged between cancer patient and nurse because this disease does not let go easily. You become a part of each others’ life.  And what happens if the worst happens and the patient dies?

Do nurses have a place to go to get help?  Is there a blog made for them where the sadness can be spelled out to make them feel better?  Do they huddle around each other and “lift” like we do here, when death takes a long time member of that extended family? 

Coping in cancer world is far-reaching.  Maybe next time you see your cancer nurse, YOU be the one to hug first.  YOU be the one to ask,”How are you feeling?”

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