This is a wonderful letter by Lindsay Norris. She’s an oncology nurse who thought she understood exactly what her patients were going through - until she was diagnosed with cancer herself.
I spent seven years accompanying people through palliative care and hospice as a social worker, but I’d never really experienced cancer in my own life. When my wife, Leah, was diagnosed with life-threatening breast cancer in 2015, I realized how little I knew despite all of my experience as a social worker. I still don’t know what it’s like to be the one with the diagnosis. But by accompanying Leah day and night, I gained a much better sense of what people are dealing with 24 hours a day when they have a serious illness. And I definitely learned first hand how frightened and overwhelmed a caregiver can feel.
Lindsay Norris does a wonderful job of describing being the patient instead of the professional in her blog post here:
And so you don’t have to worry: Leah is 3 years out from her cancer diagnosis after surgery and chemotherapy so far is cancer-free!