The most overlooked people in my Metastatic Breast Cancer journey are my oncology nurses and my oncologist. These brave woman have a hard job. They watch people at their weakest points, they say their goodbyes when it’s time, and they cheer when the battle is complete. It’s especially difficult for them to watch the young ones go through a battle that is not going to end until the universe takes us away.
They smile when you need a smile. They pretend they aren't swamped with patients as the line for a chemo chair grows around the corner. These woman are the unseen warriors who keep us going. My starling angels! (A.k.a Starling Darlings)
Over the past year I've been fortunate to have had such a remarkable oncology nurse. It was her idea to do the Mariah Carey video! Rachel always made herself available to me and she always cared. Chemo is scary, accessing your port for the first time is scary, the endless needles in the beginning are not something you look forward to. Mooning someone monthly during my monthly lupron shots - somehow she made that fell normal and not uncomfortable.
Your oncology nurse is one of the first people to help you process bad news, to cheer and share your achievements when you get good news, and to see when you feel you need a miracle to keep you in the fight and then make it happen.
When you see me leave the doctors and wonder, “how do you do it?” or “how do you stay so positive?” Well, for the past couple of hours I was surrounded by Rachel and other astounding women who somehow know how to make you feel “okay” and normal.
They know what NOT to say and they let you say all the negative things. For such a depressing job at times they will always welcome you with a smile even if they just supported someone while they’re puking. Chemo centers are not usually a place ANYONE wants to be but somehow I look forward to going there because I get to see them!
A week or so ago my nurse Rachel informed me she was leaving. I was confused because I thought she was going to tell me something good! I didn’t know how to react because I’m losing a fundamental piece of my journey. I would be scared out of my mind if I didn’t already know there are many other amazing women who are there to help me, but Rachel gave me hope, faith and encouragement. Rachel will be going on to help more woman and men in my situation. Rachel will be helping the quality of life of so many more, but selfishly I – of course – don’t want her to leave. SO, DON’T, Rachel… lol… but I know it’s your time to touch more people’s lives.
I can say about Starling that you will never feel unloved while you’re there. So if you ever run into an oncology nurse say thank you, thank you for standing by the side of people who are facing the worst possible scenario life can offer.
Check out the video of Starling Infusion Center. I am featured with Rachel & my Oncologist!!!!!