My Positive Spin on Receiving Cancer Treatment

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Staying positive while receiving cancer treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma helped me feel grateful for happy moments.

Hands holding blue happy smile face. mental health positive thinking and growth mindset, mental health care recovery to happiness emotion | Image credit: © Kiattisak - stock.adobe.com

While receiving chemotherapy, Russell made an effort to spread positivity to those around him.

My Time in the Chemo Room

Again, it is my turn to visit the solitude of the chemo room to treat my non-Hodgkin lymphoma. I entered the land of many red recliner chairs occupied by unique individuals getting hopeful miracles of treatment. I am fascinated and awed by the many long journeys that these occupiers of the cancer arena have gone through. The challenging moments and ending up here, in a room where strengths and weaknesses are shared with other wounded warriors of cancer’s invasive presence. Their softly spoken and unspoken stories, the silent expressions of pain and relief, show in the lines of their facial expressions. I see their reflections in myself and feel the connection with them. Powerful stuff, indeed.

Image of a man wearing a Santa hat and a snowman face mask.

Russell sharing many smiles during his chemotherapy treatments around Christmastime.

Photo credits: Russell Schwaberow

I include my own participation and am coming to balanced terms with my own unwritten cancer story. While receiving chemo treatments, I've observed in others that there are many strong pieces needed to connect a human being into becoming a cancer survivor’s positive story of a life changed. How much closer to life cancer connects us all with a deeper, more meaningful walk through life with family, friends and other patients with cancer.

The wonderful doctors, registered nurses and staff have shown cancer survivors the highest level of professionalism in getting us well by treating us well. They all share their accumulated knowledge of hope with us daily! So much compassion! So much healing! So much cure!

In becoming a cancer survivor myself, it humbles me so. Here, our different types of cancers are shared journeys of lives touched. Here, we are together for the hope of an extended heartbeat with life. Here, we are on the same open page, if only for a moment in everyone’s intertwined lives in this place of uncertainty. When our treatment is complete, we hope we are more healed than when we came in. We, perhaps unknowingly, will depart through the secret arm stretched tunnel of victories and kindness, greeting the finish line. For these moments and being a part of the experience, I am truly blessed. And grateful! Thank you, everyone! God Bless!

When Reaching Out Is Going the Extra Mile

We, whose bodies are visited by the many forms of cancer, each have a moment, an occurrence, an event that strengthened our presence to a healthier being in our cancer journey.

My special time occurred two long years ago during those awful chemo treatments. I was engaged in a conversation with another patient with cancer, whose journey in life was ending soon, and the head nurse. We were talking about a practice the oncology nurses used to perform to those who were entering their last day of treatment. This honored act was performed by the hard-working nurses, lining up in two rows with arms stretched out as a tunnel of victory to walk through for those who were done with treatment. The short walk was full of courage and faith, I'm sure. The other patient I was talking with could have used that honor, but it was no longer practiced. The head nurse and I agreed about its value to patients with cancer and the lost practice.

On Feb. 11, 2022, I was happy that it was my last time in the chemo room with the many red recliners. I was taking the last day in, thinking of the journey I had been through and the journey that lay ahead.

The head nurse administered my last treatment, and soon afterward, I was free to leave.

One more trip to the restroom on the oncology floor, I went.

What happened next when I opened the restroom door sent my emotions into a frantic exciting spin! Incredibly, there were two rows of those gracious nurses, arms stretched high. This tunnel of victory for me reunited me with the strongest faith in humanity I have ever felt. There were a lot of happy tears celebrating a long-forgotten practice that day, and there was one awesome nurse who made it all so possible and one awe struck cancer survivor. She re-enacted the old practice and made it new for me. I was very much blessed!

Nurse Rebecca M. brought it all about because of a letter I wrote to the oncology department about my positive spin on the whole cancer treatment process. They helped us get well by treating us well. They are the best!

This post was written and submitted by Russell Schwaberow. The article reflects the views of Schwaberow and not of CURE®. This is also not supposed to be intended as medical advice.

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