Giving thanks: When a chocolate cake is more than just a dessert

In the New York Times Well blog today, Theresa Brown, RN, talks about how patients and their families will often thank their nurses with food. With the long, stressful hours, the donated food holds a special meaning to these nurses. It's almost a nourishment for both the body and their emotional well-being. (She also shares how hard it is to not "eat her feelings" with those same doughnuts, cakes and cookies.) She writes: ...I try to focus on my own feelings -- but I think, too, about the feelings expressed in those very welcome gifts of food.Overwhelmingly, the feeling is thanks. Sometimes a plate of cookies will come with a note, "Thanks for taking such good care of my mother." Other times, the food will have a Post-it note hurriedly scribbled with "from" and the patient's room number.I've never gotten teary eyed over chocolate cake, but Theresa had that effect on me this morning. Take a look at her post, "Feed the Nurses."I think it's important to note that it's not so much the gift of food that touches these nurses, but the gift of thanks. While we may not be able to express in the right words words how grateful we are of their presence, sometimes a simple touch of the hand and quiet "thank you" goes a long way, even if you think it's already understood.In addition to our annual Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing contest, CURE is doing a little something special this year to help you thank your nurse. We can't wait to share it with you, so stay tuned!In the meantime, take a minute to nominate your nurse for the Healer Award (deadline is March 21) and never underestimate how a simple thank you can make a person's day.