She’s come back to give back.  A young woman who feels fortunate to be alive because of the care and treatment she got at the cancer center. Her treatment was intense to say the least, and there were times when she was miserable from treatment and probably wondered if she was going to see another day, but she lived.

She’s in the process of trying to rebuild her life now because that old life stopped for the most part on diagnosis day.  Slowly, she’s finding order to those building blocks and she’s decided that even though the cancer center reminds her of hard days in the past, she wants to build a future at the place that gave her back her life.  She wants to be surrounded by the people who treated her.  She wants to be supported by the nurses and researchers who unlocked the mystery of her cancer. She will always be in awe of her doctors, so why not find a way to make their jobs easier too.

I remember when we remodeled our home.  We knew nothing about contractors and architects and plans and plumbing when we started.  It was a learn as you go process, but in the end, I felt qualified to help future home owners looking to remodel their homes with really good information and tips so they wouldn’t have to go through what we went through.  The same applies in cancer world.  As a care giver, I was a blank page going into the process, but by the time my caregiving days were over, I had notebooks filled with valuable information to pass along.  As I wonder through those halls today, I can spot an overwhelmed caregiver in a heartbeat. It’s automatic: I do whatever I can to make it a better day for them.

And this is the case with my friend.  She’s ready to come back to give back.  Her patient knowledge is beyond notebooks.  She walked the cancer walk and will be the best patient advocate for current cancer victims and those just walking in the doors of the cancer center.  Muscle memory alone will smooth out the rough spots for patients who are new to navigating the complicated halls of the treatment zones.  She’ll have the words to answer the tough questions.  She’s been there and there’s no substitution for experience in this world.

She’s come back to give back.  It makes perfect sense.

 

 

 

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