(Though Ben objects, Emily is obviously our eldest sibling)
A little over a year ago I was thrown into a world I never wanted to enter.
I lost connection with everything normal.
I was deprived, devastated, and dying.
I was thrown into the world of cancer.
(Katherine and I feasting on popsicles as she explained how my port worked)
Within minutes of being on P4, light began to shine through the darkness. Though I was still under sedation, the nurses quickly put their skills into motion. Whether explaining, comforting, or caring for my family and I, their commitment to their patients was obvious. Upon coming out of sedation, my first nurse, KatyZ, worked overtime to make sure I was comfortable. She never left the hospital that night until I was in a good place.
Within the first week, I quickly fell in love with my new family. Their love was magnetic. It was surprising. I expected the "so-so", "typical", "awkward" nurses to eventually show up. Thankfully, I was disappointed. Not one nurse on that floor ever made me feel uncomfortable (even though I was obviously the "new kid on the block"). I was quickly brought into the family and treated like royalty.
(Never a dull moment with Jess- hence the bottle of Tea in her hand)
Throughout my year on P4, the level of love never wavered, as the level of care never slacked.
On days that were depressing, Jess was there to crack jokes- play pranks- or have "Sing-offs". Realizing that though cancer had me down, it was only temporary.
On days that were painful, Emily was there to cheer me up with her "Oldest Sister" wisdom. She immediately became part of our family by gluing her face onto our family photo.
On days I wouldn't eat, Katherine would cater to my demands and eat popsicles with me. Even though I'm pretty sure she wasn't hungry.
On days that were mentally overwhelming, Jordyn was there to listen. Understanding that I didn't want people to act like they knew what I was going through, but rather just listen instead.
On days that were boring, Ashley would happily intrigue me with her adventurous tales of past trips she'd been on. Helping me look forward to a life beyond my cancer.
On days I missed my pup, TexMeg would share photos of her dog. Then talk about home-made BBQ brisket. (She had an uncanny ability to make me hungry even when I was nauseated.)
(Jordyn and I coloring her masks. We determined they were too gloomy for a Pediatric Floor)
You see, my nurses weren't there to put in their hours. They weren't there to make a paycheck. They weren't there for themselves- they were there for their patients. They taught me that being a nurse is much more than a job- it's a way of life.
(Ashley giving a few pointers on Nursing. You I'm practically an RN)
Nurses rarely get the credit they deserve. Honestly, I could write a book on all they have done for me. They have not only saved my life, but invested their own lives in mine. They stretched out their hearts knowing that at any given moment- this cancer has the ability to easily hurt them.
During Nurses Appreciation Week, please remember to thank your nurses. Every nurse on P4, every nurse in American Family Children's Hospital, every nurse in the world- deserves our love, respect, and thanks. They have given so much of their own lives by daily investing in others. Saying "Thank You" is the least we can do.
(The most awesome HomeHealth Nurse in the World! Katie's skill with accessing my port is commendable. Her compassion for others is incredible!)