I want to tell you about a patient of mine who we will call Grace, who is now facing breast cancer for the third time. She was originally diagnosed in 1994 and had surgery and chemotherapy and thought life was going to return to normal. She was diagnosed again in ‘96 and had more chemotherapy and now was diagnosed again in March of this year. Grace has gone through a divorce and faced this last diagnosis of breast cancer while caring for her 11-year-old daughter primarily on her own. She has worked all through chemotherapy and radiation therapy and has struggled physically and financially with this latest diagnosis. She will have a scan in January to make sure that the cancer has not spread.
I have worked with Grace since March and she has been a wonderful patient and has managed to encourage others newly diagnosed with the disease. When I asked her about her hope for the holidays this year, she really just wanted to spend some time with her daughter doing mom-and-daughter things. She would like to take her daughter on a little shopping spree to Penneys or Wal-Mart. She would love a getaway (to Disney) with her as they haven’t had an opportunity to do many things like that. She mentioned that her daughter would love a iPod Touch when I pressed her to think about what she would like. Grace struggles every day to manage financially and works even when she is sick because she has a young daughter to protect and support. She has trouble making ends meet some months and mentioned that she could use some help with rent from time to time. She really was reluctant to even think abut what she would like for Christmas, saying that the diagnosis had made her think day to day and to not plan too far ahead. She faces each day as it comes and tries to make the best life she can for thedaughter she adores. Whatever your listeners can do to brighten Grace’s holidays would be a blessing. Thank you.
Oncology Nurse Navigator
Anderson Cancer Institute at Memorial
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