I have said many times in the past few years that I would love to live in a world without cancer.
Like so many, I have never lived in a world without cancer. For most of my life, cancer was something that I heard and read about. When I turned the TV off, closed the book are put the down the magazine, it ended. That was until the summer of 2014 when my sister was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer suddenly wasn't something that simply existed in the world — it was my world.
In the time that has passed since my sister's diagnosis, I have immersed myself into the world of cancer. I became her caregiver and championed her cure and well-being through her transplant and into remission. I volunteered with the Rocky Mountain Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and The Dempsey Challenge. Somewhere along the way I fell in love with what I was doing and decided that I wanted to be an oncology nurse.
I have said many times in the past few years that I would love to live in a world without cancer. I said this recently and a close friend highlighted that if that were to be true, then I would be out of job. Obviously, no cancer would mean no oncology, but that correlation hadn't really crossed my mind in the past. I'm not normally one for letting my emotions show, but in that moment, I couldn't help myself.
Those affected by cancer go through hell. They spend so much time in clinics, emergency rooms and hospitals that they forget how it feels to sleep in their own beds. They have to worry about germs, doctor appointments, chemo cycles and complications from medications that are given in hopes of cure. They worry about bruises, medication refills and all the uncertainty that cancer carries with it.
Without a doubt, I love my job. It is more than a passion or a calling. It is what I know with my whole entire heart that I am meant to do. That being said, it saddens me that my job does exist. Oncology is a field that is like no other. The strength that those facing cancer exude astounds me every time I witness it. The hope that a patient has, even after having been given the hardest news, is amazing.
So, while I want nothing more than to work in this field, I think my friend may have been right when he said that I don't want to be an oncology nurse. What I really want is a cure.