I finished chemo yesterday. I looked back on the last six months since this entire adventure started, and the only thing I thought of is, how the hell do I think the people involved with saving my life. Catching this cancer in the earlier stages (though I was stage iv, it was caught very early as in retrospect my symptoms were minor), and I am still here today because of the doctors, nurses, and my friends and family, who were a constant support. I guess the best way to do it is to write an open letter to those who were involved in my treatment.
Dear Staff at Sacred Heart,
I don’t know if you realize this, but you saved my life. You do it every day, and I wanted to acknowledge some of you individually. There is really nothing I can do, give, or say that will express how much I appreciate and truly love you for what you did for me. So where do I start:
I would like to thank the ER resident OB, who had absolutely no experience in a 40-year-old woman, with no symptoms dumped in your lap that night. Who through tears told you that another radiologist you never met that I had a mass, but you couldn’t feel the mass, so you sent me up to a hospital room.
Tommy, the nurse, who appreciated my jokes about drinking that frozen concoction with tequila. I don’t know if you like it on the rocks. I really want to bring you a bottle, but I don’t want to get you in trouble… You have no idea how much your humor, your honesty, and how much fun you were during this incredibly rough time.
To Dr. Parra– I am so proud of you for finishing the half marathon. Thank-you for your solid advice and talks about autism, the Air Force, and for praying for my family. I really, really appreciate your expertise and how much we had in common. I’m so glad to have met you. Thanks for taking the stint out so I can run :).
Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of the other night nurse in oncology, who finally relieved me from the pain of 12 hours of dry heaving, by giving me something to finally puke. You held my hand while vomited and sobbed. You broke my Seinfeld-esque vomit free streak. You’ll be happy to know that I never vomited during chemo :). I came close.
Onto Oncology, and Gynecological Oncology… There are no words, no prayers, no nothing I can say to Dr Stephen DeCeasare. I cannot thank-you, or give you credit, or scream it from the rooftop on how wonderful you have been. You will always be the one who saved my life. I know having served in the military, we hold those that save lives in the highest regard. You are a hero to me, and to my family. We will not forget your bedside manner, your kindness, and your tireless work for your patients. Thank-you so very much.
To Becky, Dr. DeCeasare’s nurse. Thank-you for being his support and mine, and for answering every question. Nurses are the backbone to care, and you are truly appreciated.I really cannot thank-you enough for your helping me with my crazy schedule.
To Karla, Jeanette, and everyone else in the oncology infusion room. You women are the heart and soul of treatment.I truly love everyone in the infusion. Especially Karla, who I got to know in the last 16 weeks. Thanks for being there and being a constant support. I appreciate your advice, and followed it to the letter (most of the time). Thank-you for reminding me to complain when I feel yucky and not to suffer in too much silence :). Thanks for holding my hand the first infusion when I was so terrified I could barely move.
I can’t thank anyone involved in my cancer treatment enough. You have touched me, and changed me forever. I love you all, and will keep you in my prayers forever. You have saved my life… As far as I am concerned, there are not enough military medals, accolades, recognition I can give you!