ARTICLES / General / Surviving
For Those Who Didn't /
neglect did not leave Little Nurse alone at the hospital
with her ill mother. Due to financial needs of the
family and lack of childcare resources, the motherís
hospital room was the best place for the little girl.
And it was there Little Nurse wanted to be, with her
mother, taking care of her. I know because I am Little
Nurse. I was there for her through numerous
reconstructive surgeries, her second battle with
metastasized Stage IV cancer, and other surgeries that
followed the devastation of the effects of the cancer
treatments. Through junior high and high school, I
watched her dynamic involvement in the "Look Good...Feel
Better" program that helps others heal emotionally by
improving self-esteem. The year after I graduated from
college, I assisted my mother in establishing the first
American Cancer Society Relay for Life in our hometown.
I watched my mother survive several attacks of cancer
over and over, inspiring others to continue their
battles, growing and exhibiting her faith in God. I
learned what it means to be a fighter, to conquer, and
to courageously take the blessing of life and use it to
broke my heart to see her in so much pain, I chose to be
with her, support her, and encourage her through the
toughest times of her life, just as she had done for me.
We formed a bond most mothers and daughters never
experience. We laughed, cried, yelled, and hugged a lot.
Being able to care for my mother during her battles with
cancer was the best experience of my life in that it
made me the person I am today. By no means was it easy;
but it was a choice I made at a very early age and it is
one I will never regret.
this privilege, I have a special place in my heart for
cancer patients and their caregivers. I am currently
working on my masterís degree in counseling, hoping to
use my experience and training to provide
psychosocial and emotional support for cancer patients
and their caregivers. I am also a licensed massage
therapist. I received National Certification for massage
therapy so that I may provide therapeutic touch for
those dealing with the effects of cancer, and someday
work in research on the benefits of massage and
psychotherapy for cancer patients and caregivers.
What seems to
be a very tragic and traumatic event at the time can
turn into something very positive. I was not damaged by
being left alone with my mother in the hospital at a
very young age during her recovery. I was not
traumatized by observing the severe effects of the
life-threatening disease of a loved one. I was not
injured by being a witness to the battle of cancer. I
was blessed. I had the opportunity to care for her the
way she did for me when I needed her mostówhen I was
weak and vulnerable and could not take care of myself.
What better way to repay the person who gave me life.