Warmth and Kindness and Love

Yesterday I was sitting in the cancer center (also known as my second home) waiting for them to take me back for blood work, when the nutritionist on staff walked by me. She smiled and stopped when she saw me and greeted me asking how I was doing.

She remembered. She remembered sitting with me a year ago and discussing ways I could work with nutrition to help strengthen my body. She remembered I had studied health and nutrition in college. She remembered cookbooks and recipe websites she had recommended for me. She remembered my name. She hadn’t talked to me in a year.

We chatted about where I was with treatment and how I was feeling. I shared with her how overwhelmed I can get trying to maintain a healthy diet (making everything I eat from scratch) and feeling rough from chemo. I told her that on my good week each month I work to stock up my freezer with things I can pull out and eat when I’m not feeling well. She listened. She understood. She offered some suggestions and short cuts and she pointed me to a couple places in the area that serve locally grown, grass-fed, organic foods.

While we were talking, the nurse came out to take me back to the treatment center, and when she saw us talking, she told me to take as long as I needed. “You know the way,” she laughed, “Just come on back when you’re done.”

The nutritionist and I finished up with her offering to do some research for me and see if she could come up with some other good ideas and she’d email me with what she found. I thanked her and made my way through the halls to the short treatment center, greeting nurses by name and stopping to hug one of my favorites. The nurse took my blood, I got the thumbs up from her once the results came in and I was on my way for the day.

Later that afternoon an email came through, and y’all, I was blown away. Not only did the nutritionist give me a plethora of good information on places to find foods and convenient options for my bad weeks, she called several of them to ask questions, confirm information and relayed that information to me. And it was useful, wonderful information. This morning, there was a second email from her with another thought she had.

I know this doesn’t seem like much. It’s just emails. I guess I wrote this to remember. To remember why I love the cancer center here. I love the familiarity of nurses and desk staff and volunteers who know my name and I know theirs. If I have to go through this, I’m thankful to go through this somewhere that treats me like family and not like a number or a statistic.

People have asked me if I’ve ever thought of second opinions… of going over the mountain to the university hospital or even further to a big city that specializes in cancer treatment. There are a few answers to that. My cancer isn’t far enough along to warrant a treatment center, but we have it on the back burner as an option should things progress. The treatment I’m receiving is protocol across the board. I’d receive the same chemo and scanning, etc. over the mountain as I am receiving here for where I am. And that hospital over the mountain? I’ve been there for several things over the last eight years with the course of my treatments, and almost every time has been a bad experience for me. Here at my local hospital, I’ve had one bad experience in eight years. That’s enough for me at this point. We keep our options open, and we always will…

But I’m just grateful today. Grateful that my name is known. Grateful for advocates for my health in every arena. Grateful that there are places in town where I can grab a bite to eat and not stress. Grateful that in the overwhelming there are those who move to help.

Grateful that even somewhere sterile and cold like hospitals can be, there is warmth and kindness and love.

3 responses to “Warmth and Kindness and Love”

  1. Angie, your thoughts are so inspiring and helpful. You are so strong and brave…others who read your words, are encouraged. Hugs, Jane

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  2. Your appreciation is a gift to them! Those in service are boosted when those they serve appreciate them. It’s a beautiful cycle you have going there!

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  3. God does make beauty out of ashes…
    Praising Him for your heart attitude to see it! Love you

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