In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we share a poem written by Kim, a registered nurse in the hematology/oncology unit at CHOC Children’s, at the time she finished her training. Kim is a cancer survivor and former CHOC patient.
I had no idea what this was going to bring up
All these memories and feelings I have folded so neatly in a cup
Tucked away never again to be touched
Walking back into CHOC, oh how I have forgotten so much
You see, I once had cancer too
I came back as a nurse to see what I could do
I once told my own nurses, now peers, I will be back. Something I am sure they heard before
10 years later I walk through CHOC’s door
As a registered nurse I am proud to be
But I never underestimate the patient that is still inside of me
People have told me it takes certain strength to face it again
“Doesn’t it remind you of all your pain?”
My pain?, I think, I am one of the lucky ones.
I get to come to work and I have fun
I am allowed to make funny faces
I make kids laugh and participate in car chases
I am able to share in life’s precious moments daily
Except for the need of possibly doing a Foley
Even when I am running around like a chicken with no head
I will always take time for that scared kiddo sitting in the bed
There are times when I step back and remember
When that was once me waiting for a cure
This hasn’t been easy, seeing the chemo’s and procedures
And sitting through those late effects lectures
Sometimes when the day has been hard I ask myself, “Why did I pick THIS? What else could I have been?”
But I quickly remind myself I didn’t pick this- it picked me way back when.
I am surrounded by hope, a side people do not see
For I am a proud survivor and now registered nurse of pediatric oncology.