Apologies that this post isn’t arriving on Labor Day. I take this time every year and reflect in the grandeur of the landscape around Ely, Minnesota so internet can be spotty. Here’s a peak of the beauty I get to wake up to every morning!
I wish everyone a Happy Labor Day, but in particular to the laborers who touch a cancer patient during their treatment journey.
The U.S. Department of Labor says Labor Day “is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.”
That final phrase in the last line is my favorite: strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.
During my cancer journey, there were many workers who touched my journey in warm, memorable ways, this post could be a novel if I were to list them all. I shall paraphrase and do my best.
The receptionists at Roger Maris Cancer Center who greeted me every morning with big smiles and would squeal with delight calling out “Oh my sunshine is here!” (One in particular nicknamed me sunshine because of my bright yellow coat and “sunny” disposition considering the treatment I was enduring.)
The radiology tech who was at Merit Care on day one, the day we found out it was indeed cancer. She cried with us. She also told us to take some time, go visit the street fair and try to have fun. She was also was the radiology tech for most of all the other visits and for years to come who would offer comfort and warm wishes.
The nurses. Oh the nurses. In Roger Maris the nurses would sit and play games when I’d get chemo while the nurses on the pediatric floor at Merit Care always went the extra mile like the one who at 2:00 a.m. when we’d arrive from Roseau because I spiked a fever would sit up and watch Titanic and make popcorn, to the nurse who made homemade Kuchen and delivered it to us when we stayed at the Ronald McDonald House.
Then there were the doctors. From the surgeons to the neurologists to my oncologist who the first day I met him, immediately connected with our family and made us feel safe and important. There are many doctors who carry god complexes and do not treat patients well. I can say I never encountered one of those doctors during my cancer treatment.
Every laborer touched my journey in a very special way. Making my family and me feel safe and confident we were in the best hands. To any of you in the medical community. Do not ever underestimate the length at which a kind word, a small gesture or warm smile can go to brighten someone’s day. Whether you are an administrator checking someone in or a doctor administering care.
You all play a role in providing strength, prosperity, and well-being to a survivor in the making.
Happy labor day.