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Thanks to everyone who responded to my last post! That makes me feel better and a little more confident about sharing my own experience! To all the people who responded who are waiting to hear if they have cancer, or are going through treatment themselves, I wish you good luck! You are stronger than you think you are. Just keep pushing forward, view this experience as a journey, and try to take all the positive life lessons you can get out of it. You will come out of it a better and stronger person. From someone who has already been there, trust me!
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Last night I took care of a newly diagnosed cancer patient. Whenever I do this, I always feel compelled to let them know I had cancer. But at the same time it feels weird. I guess it’s because in nursing school we’re told not to talk about ourselves at all with patients. We’re told that it’s not about us, it’s about them and they really aren’t interested in our lives. You’re supposed to keep it “professional.”
But I don’t know, I guess I just feel like I can be of some help, letting them know some of what lies ahead, or maybe I can provide some hope by seeing how well I’m doing after having gone through treatment.
Over the last couple years I’ve started to come out of my shell more and get a little personal with my patients. I don’t know, a lot of times they ask ME questions about MY life, which leads me to believe that my professors were wrong and patients are interested in knowing who the people caring for them are. The handful of people I have talked with about what I’ve been through have seemed appreciative that I took the time to talk to them.
What do you guys think? If you were a newly diagnosed cancer patient, would you want to know if your nurse has had cancer too and want to talk with them about it?
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Well, they didn’t let me keep my port. Some policy about it being biohazard because it’s contaminated with chemotherapy. Bummer! But the procedure went great. Afterwards Robbie and I went to an art show in Seattle. The numbing medication started wearing off while we were there. When I got home I took some Tylenol and that has controlled the pain pretty well.
Now it’s just no shower for 24 hours and no working out, lifting, etc. for 72 hours. I’ll have to find some other way to enjoy this awesome weather this weekend.
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Waiting to get my port out, but i have a cold so im in quarantine!
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I’ve been hit hard with the reality of death tonight. My patient died and though I’m comforted by the fact I was able to make it a comfortable and peaceful passing, it was still hard. You would think having faced death myself with my cancer diagnosis, I’d be at peace with this reality. But lately I’ve seen “The Battle We Didn’t Choose” blog everywhere and it breaks my heart. I feel the husband’s pain through his amazing pictures, his wife’s experience, and I feel for his loss. Then it also hits uncomfortably close to home, having been in a similar situation with a photographer husband who loves me dearly, and whom I love more than anything. It could have been me, and it could have been my husband dealing with my loss. That breaks my heart even more.
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Pictures of my team and me giving my survivor speech at The Big Climb in Seattle. We climb over 1,300 feet! It was difficult at times, but we made it! I also got a cool survivor shirt that I can’t wait to wear.
Here’s a copy of my speech:
My name is Jessica Lowery and I am so excited that I’m here and get to be part of the Big Climb this year with my team, Stairway to Heaven! Just last year I was at home, laying on the couch, fighting Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, while my loved ones did the climb in my honor. I feel very lucky That I’ve been in remission since May and have gotten enough strength back to do this.
This year, I’m not only participating for myself, but because I know not everyone is as lucky as I have been. We still have work to do. My friend Sam, for example, is currently on hospice, at the young age of 23, because of Leukemia. No one should have to face losing their own life, or that of a loved one at such a young age. I wish you all could meet Sam, because he is an amazing person. In fact, he wanted me to tell you all that he said hello!
So, I just wanted to thank all of you for all you’ve done to raise money and get us to our 1.7 million dollar goal this year. As well as just being part of this day. It really is changing people’s lives and will continue to do so in the future!”
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By the way, no one leaves this planet unscathed and turning pain into purpose is a very good therapeutic way to heal oneself when life hands you a blow that you didn’t expect.
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