Dear Oncology Patient,
I am so sorry. Being diagnosed with cancer is pretty much the scariest news you can ever possibly receive. Being diagnosed and going through treatment is one of the hardest things even under the best of circumstances.
It’s so important to have a husband, a wife, a child, a friend, a loved one of any kind there with you to help support you, help keep you entertained, keep your spirits up, be a second set of ears when we go through all of the different definitions, and values, and procedures. And I am sorry that we can’t let you have a visitor with you at this time.
Cancer is a lot. It’s too much.
I’m sorry you have to go through this at all. But I am especially sorry that you have to go through this during a literal global pandemic.
The whole world is so scary right now. And it feels like COVID is a direct attack on the patients that I work with every day. The patients who are already so susceptible, so vulnerable, so isolated, so scared.
I’m sorry you aren’t allowed to have a visitor with you while you receive your chemotherapy. I’m sorry that the world is a dangerous place for you right now.
I can’t even imagine how scary that is. I know that you are strong, but I wish you didn’t have to be this strong. I wish things were different right now and you could at least go through this like “normal”. Whatever “normal” even means in oncology.
Again, I am so sorry, but I can make you a promise. I promise that I will hold your hand during your first infusion (or hundredth) as the reality of what this all means finally sinks in. I promise that I will laugh with you. I promise that I will be there for you if you cry. I promise that I will repeat an answer a million times until you fully understand. I promise that I will get you water or juice or coffee, just like your spouse would normally do on treatment days. I promise I will get you as many warm blankets and pillows as you need to feel comfy.
I promise you that even though this all feels like too much, you are not in this alone. I will be here, my fellow nurses will be here.
With so much love,
An Oncology Nurse
P.S. To everyone else, please stay home. Please wash your hands. Please keep my patients safe.
As always, I would love to connect with you on social!
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