Friday, September 5, 2014

Fist Day in the Hem/Onc and Pink Glittery Inspiration

The first time I was in the Hem/Onc clinic was to have an IV placed and labs drawn before surgery to insert a port (central line) into my chest.  The Hem/Onc waiting room was unlike any waiting room I’d been in before.  Everything was so brightly colored. One wall held a display case showcasing a PEZ dispenser collection and on another   hung a brightly papered bulletin board displaying patient artwork.

I remember sitting on the lab side of the waiting room with my dad. Just waiting.  And thinking. I knew I was really sick, but I didn’t feel sick. Now that the headaches and nausea were gone, I felt pretty good actually. I remember feeling somewhat uneasy about treatment was going to go. I also felt almost guilty looking around at the other patients waiting with their families. I was feeling good and had a full head of hair while most of them were bald, attached to tubes and looked exhausted.

We had been waiting for a while when in bounced a pink, glittery ball of energy in the form of a four-year-old girl. You could tell she had been a patient for a while because she enthusiastically greeted many of the doctors and nurses that passed by us.She had so much energy. She hardly stopped moving and smiling and talking. If it weren’t for the bald head and small stature, you would never know that this sweet little girl was also a cancer patient.  I remember thinking to myself, “Wow, she’s amazing!” She defied every notion I had about what being a cancer patient was like. I thought, “If she can do it, I can do it.” I saw her in the clinic many times and she always inspired me to keep going and keep smiling. She was also my roommate during one of my chemo treatments and I was able to share with her dad what an inspiration she had been to me.

This young girl was the first of many young patients I came to know and be inspired by. Others included Little John (another inspirational roommate), Brooke (my tumor twin), Gillian (fellow member of the curly-haired girls club), and Keaton (my Run of Hope buddy).

It was my experiences with these patients and others like them that inspired me to want to work with children in hospitals as a Child Life Specialist.

Mischief Managed,

Run of Hope Total: $1,420

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