“Cancer.” It’s word that no one wants to hear; a word that can tear someone apart or split a family. As nurses, a diagnosis of cancer becomes routine. We sympathize with the person and, in the back of our minds, think, “I’m glad it’s not me.” But, truly, we never think about how many aspects of our lives would be impacted if it were us with the diagnosis. How would we feel, sitting across from a doctor instead of beside him when he says, “cancer?”
An oncology nurse in Kansas was faced with this situation. Lindsay Norris, an oncology nurse at a Kansas facility wrote an apology letter to her patients after being diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer in September.
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In her heartbreaking letter, she says “I didn’t get it.” Never could she fully understand what a cancer diagnosis could mean for her or her family. She goes on to say that she is concerned for her children and her husband. She is continued to fight cancer and still remain at work.
Lindsay says that she can empathize with her patients more than ever. She is walking a mile in her patients’ shoes. Now, she gets it. And her apology letter says it all.