I missed this yesterday and wasn't aware until I saw it on FB this morning. One of the things I have learned through out my journey post-transplant that when you are grateful for something make sure you say it out loud. You don't hear "thank you" very much these days. In my previous posts, I have offered my "thanks" to my family, friends, acquaintances, and even strangers, who provided support throughout this life-altering ordeal. I realized this morning that I may have forgotten to include the doctors and the clinic/hospital staff that offered their support.
On the day I was told I had Leukemia, the doctor from my hometown told me that I would be immediately going to Pittsburgh the next day. I was also told that I could be there for a month or more in the hospital, and isolated and protected from any possible germs, etc. My life and my family's life was completely turned upside down.
The following day on the trip to Pittsburgh, I kept thinking how scared I was of the unknown and how I was to be isolated and secluded. The most traumatizing moment of that day was the bone marrow biopsy that was performed without any medications. I don't have a very high pain tolerance and I'm very in tune with my body, so for me it was excruciating not only because of the pain, but it was traumatizing because this was just the beginning or ending of my life. To this day, due to that traumatizing event, I need medication to calm me in order to perform the procedure. I was angry with the doctor who performed the procedure and didn't understand why they would put a human being through such torture. But later, I found that it wasn't that they wanted to torture me, but they needed me to be aware and mentally present when discussing what was going to take place from that day forward. At the time, I was quite angry but now I understand. And, ironically, the doctor that performed that biopsy is the one I have requested for all biopsies.
From that day forward, the staff was remarkable. They truly showed their compassionate side and tried to make not only me, but my family, as comfortable as we could be during that most stressful time. They really "bent over backwards" to accommodate my needs and my family needs. They were empathetic and understood the stress we were under and didn't want to add to that. Any time, I "buzzed" for the nurses, I hardly felt like a nuisance. I very rarely was questioned as to my requests and they tried within their power to make me (and my family) as comfortable as possible.
The staff became a part of our family. We developed close relationships with some of those people and I am even friends with some of them on FB.
Even though having Cancer and going through chemotherapy treatments was sometimes a harrowing experience, the knowledge of knowing that the staff truly cared and supported us, helped gave me strength to fight the disease.
I stated in a previous post that some of my closest friends were my biggest cheerleaders, and they were, but the UPMC Shadyside staff on 7 West were also cheering me on and giving me the motivation not to give up.
So I dedicate today's blog to the UPMC Shadyside Staff (7West) (from the doctors, physician assistants, nurses, etc)...Thank you so much for ALL OF YOUR EMPATHY...PATIENCE...and SUPPORT!!!