Today it is exactly 6 months since my mum died. It is also cloudy, dark and cold and rainy. Pathetic fallacy much, nature? I didn’t actually realize the significance of the date until I got to work and started getting my stuff organized to take to a lung cancer information day, put on by the lung nurses in my organization. And as I set up my books and handouts and attached the lung cancer awareness pin to my lapel it hit me. It’s been exactly 6 months. And I get to spend it surrounded by tables upon tables of information about lung cancer – from early detection to clinical trials and supportive care services to palliative care and grief and bereavement. Really, the whole lung cancer experience, laid out for me on card tables. Awesome, right?
But you know what? It was ok. I got to talk to patients – patients who are just getting started with treatment and are scared. And patients who are half-way through treatment and are starting to feel the side effects, but are less scared, because they know what they’re up against now. And patients who have finished treatment and just come every 3 or 6 months for follow-up appointments. These patients are scared, but it’s different now. Now the fear is recurrence, but they go on living their lives, putting it behind them as best they can. And I got to give them information, tell them what I can do for them with my mad skillz, and give them hope.
I also got to talk to lots of other people – staff from my centre, people from the community representing hospices, exercise programs, support groups and lots more. And there was lots of chat and laughter and people really enjoying themselves. For me, it was a great day – far better than being alone in my library all day. At least I was able to get out there and do what I do best: talk to people. And – hopefully – help them, too.
Still, a little sunshine would have been nice, you know?