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C is for Courage — Revisited

Esty Bloom

Almost four years have passed. Almost four years since that hot summer day when I was diagnosed with cancer. Who would’ve thought that cancer would be the best thing that happened to me?

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

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Photo: Shutterstock

Almost four years have passed. Almost four years since that hot summer day when I was diagnosed with cancer. Who would’ve thought that cancer would be the best thing that happened to me? Not that I wanted it. But I learned and gained and grew so much because of it. 

Post-cancer, I’m more conscious of my health. I maintain a healthy weight, I see my doctor on a regular basis, I have scopes and scans and tests. All to keep an eye out in case of a possible recurrence. 

I can’t say I never worry. But between doctor’s visits, I put it out of my mind.

In fact, sometimes it’s hard to imagine that I actually went through cancer. I now work as an oncology nurse, treating patients with leukemia, lymphoma, and other types of cancers. Every shift I work there is someone whose hand I hold, whose back I rub, whose heart I try to touch. I don’t always share my personal story with my patients. But every so often I do.

Photo: Shutterstock

Last night, I walked into a patient’s room at three in the morning. She was sitting on the side of her bed, crying silently. I sat down next to her and put my arm around her shoulder. She leaned her head against me and cried. I pushed the corner of my shirt over a bit and showed her the mediport that’s still implanted under my skin. 

“Welcome to the Cancer Survivor’s Club,” I told her. “You’re an honorary member. It’s the best club in the world.” She lifted up her head and blinked. I continued, “I, of course, am the queen of this club. I will not give that title up. But you are welcome to be the princess, the court jester, the president… any role you choose.”

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