Janet and I traveled to beautiful Maui on our first travel nursing assignment together. Life was good and we did not think we had a care in the world.
On Dec 31 2003 all that changed when Janet and I traveled to Lahaina to see her doctor. She had discovered a small lump in her breast and we were going to the office to find out the results of a biopsy.
Life with no worries changed quickly when Janet was diagnosed with breast cancer. After sampling many Mai Tai’s that night (New Years Eve) the reality slowly set in that the next several months we would have a new focus.
By Valentines Day six weeks later Janet had had the lump removed and was in the middle of chemo treatment. She had made the decision to stay working on Maui and go through chemo and radiation.
The week of Valentines Day I went to a Toastmaster meeting. Toastmaster’s is a club where you can learn communication skills. I never realized how illness could affect everyone involved until I was invited to give a one-minute speech on a topic that another club member picks for you. I should have seen this coming but the question was, “What are you doing with your sweetheart on Valintines Day?”
After many um’s and ahs( a real no-no in Toastmaster’s) I held my head down for what seemed an eternity. Finally I lifted my head and said my wife is battling cancer and I have not even thought about Valentines Day. I then disappeared realizing that we always need to expect the unexpected. When adversity enters our life things change and how it affects us can surface at any time or place.
The support and care Janet received from other Travel Nurses was amazing and very appreciated. Doctors, her nurse supervisor and of course co workers all helped. All their help and Janet’s attitude while being treated, allows her to boast five years cancer free this Valentines Day 2009.
On our website www.travel-nurse-coach.com we have a motto. Wish for the best plan for the worse.