I always say that palliative Care picked me. I lost my Dad to cancer 27 years ago after a very short 5 weeks of illness because he was so full of cancer. It was everywhere, he was 49 years old.
A childhood cancer survivor myself (a Wilm’s Tumour diagnosed in 1979 and 17 months of chemo and radiation thrown in there), I knew I wanted to help and care for those living and dying with cancer. It has been 23 years of nursing, and 19 of those in Palliative Care in one form or another. Teaching PSW’s, nurses or other professionals...bedside care, consulting or mentoring.
I walked that journey with my dad and family. Now, I walk it with others. It’s an honour to my dad’s legacy. It helps me heal and grow with every family I am able to help and support. All I can say is be present, it is so hard to journey with loved ones. Remember the little things that matter. Focus on quality, laughter and tears. Time does heal. Sometimes it feels like it will never get better, but that love and pain will shape you, and you will grow and be better because of it.