I turned on my computer and there was an email from an a past client. As I read the email, my heart began to break. She had breast cancer that had metastasized to the bone. She was wondering if I could help her. She didn’t have very good insurance as I remembered. She had been one of my early clients when I started my business. I called and let her know I would help her in anyway she needed.
Later that same day, I was glancing through my new emails. My dear friend and fellow patient advocate had breast cancer. I just didn’t know what to do with this information. This woman and her business partner have been a support and inspiration in my journey with healthcare advocacy. She is a sharp business woman and a compassionate advocate. I knew who to call when I was over the top with anxiety or needed input. All I could do was send an email with my love and prayers.
What is with this cancer? Can it please just go away? Cancer takes over one’s life. Treatments are intense and frequently debilitating. I am always amazed and awed at the strength and courage it takes to get through a treatment protocol, whether it is surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination. Side effects can wreak havoc on one’s life. Depression is ever looming from one of the treatments or just dealing with the diagnosis.
I have sat with my clients’ families waiting to hear on surgical results. I have sat with clients during chemo. I have taken people to radiation appointments and I have celebrated with clients at the end of treatment protocols and the cancer being gone. I have stepped away from my desk to get a grip on my emotions when a client calls and says the cancer is back. And when an old client and a beloved colleague have cancer, my heart breaks because I know the path and the journey that each is starting, is long and arduous.
Cancer got the best of me today.