Katie Powell, a student nurse of mine, was so interested when I told her about my blog. She offered to write a blog as a guest blogger and I took her up on her offer! I thought it would be great to get a viewpoint from a nurse. And she has a unique viewpoint because her best friend was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer and Katie was with her fighting every step of the way.
Here you go! Thank you Katie!:
I first met Amanda at Camp Summerlin when I was her student nurse for the day. As students we have to go in and “research” our patients the day before so we know how to take care of them. As I was “researching” Amanda I knew I was meeting a special person, mostly because she was similar in many ways to my best friend, Ashley. Ashley had just recently been diagnosed with a very aggressive breast cancer. Besides both having names that start with “A” and being really awesome people, they were similar ages and both had families. I was lucky enough to be Amanda’s student nurse several times at Camp Summerlin and one day the idea came up that I would write a guest blog post for her. I must confess, this was ages ago, she probably forgot all about it! Anyway, I finally thought of an awesome topic to write on and here it goes, this is my first blog post ever, mind you!
My best friend lives in our home state, and hometown (not that any of you have ever heard of it) of Everson, WA. Throughout her treatment and my schooling we have actually managed to see each other fairly frequently. I want to write about the trip she made in which we were celebrating her partner, Clayton’s, birthday and her being all done with chemo. It was just an awesome and happy time that we all celebrated and enjoyed our friendships and the gift of health.
It was late August and they arrived during the tail-end of my finals week. We had planned to rent a pontoon boat on the day of my last final because I would be getting done early in the morning. The day before we all went to the pool at their hotel and later they came over for an informal BBQ. Ashley and I were both exhausted: me from school and she was still recovering, so we flopped on a comfy couch and took a nap together. My Hubby and Clayton went to the store and prepared a really delicious feast of grilled leg-of-lamb, brussels sprouts, and zucchini. I LOVE lamb but Hubby doesn’t really care for it so any time I get to eat it it’s a real treat. After our awesome food we brought “the kids” back to their hotel room and I promised to pick them up as soon as my final was over the next morning.
The next day I took my test and I probably should have studied for it. I passed it, but I didn’t get as good of a grade as I could have. My thinking at the time was that friends and memories were more important. I went straight to their hotel room with coffees and muffins. Ashley was feeling sick, sick, sick, but was determined not to miss out on the fun afternoon. I had to give her a shot to stimulate white blood cell production in her body and made her take some Zofran for nausea and we were on our way. We managed to pick up Hubby, pack a cooler with drinks and leftovers, ice, and towels, and make it to Lake Mead in an hour and a half.
Once we got the boat and got on the water, it was just amazing. I love the feeling of being on the water. It is refreshing and calming and wonderful. It feels better than anything I can think of. We spent the day exploring the coves and nooks and crannies on the shore, jumping in the lake, and playing king-of-the-inner-tube. I had shaved my head once Ashley lost her hair to the chemo and the boys kept commenting on how cute it was to see us as little bald heads bobbing in the water. They said it had been easy to spot us at the pool the day before because we were the only bald people with bikinis on, haha. Life had kind of stopped for Ashley when she was diagnosed and things got kind of dark for awhile, but that day and that trip put the spark back in her. She is now about to finish her undergrad in business and communications and will hear shortly if she was accepted into graduate school. She is smart as a whip and ambitious to boot so I know she will be successful. I can’t wait to read a blog by Amanda that details how she celebrated her “done-with-chemo” day.
I want to thank Katie for her contribution to my blog! I certainly look forward to the type of day that Ashley had. The hard part about leukemia (and I guess most cancer) is that there is always a chance of relapse. I can just only hope and pray that a relapse doesn’t happen to me. When I get to that point though, I feel like I will always be looking over my shoulder, hoping that it doesn’t return. This just gives us an important lesson to live every day to its fullest and to live without regret. The fact is that we will all leave this Earth one day. Take advantage of the days now with our loved ones and don’t fret over what might happen in the future.