Time. A gift in cancer recovery.
Working in Oncology care is a wonderful and challenging place to be. The gift as a partner in someone's care is fulfilling beyond words, but in truth I am simply humbled every step of the way. The fact that a person, any person would trust me with their ailing body is incredible! Even more surprising is the willingness of each person to be so vulnerable in the storytelling of their cancer journey. I learned something early on. Time....the offering of time, will create the space for a healing journey to begin. The moment from a diagnosis of cancer, through the many steps of a treatment process can feel like jumping on a high speed train. For many, the processing of that ride doesn't occur until the end of treatment. This is where time comes in. I have the gift as a non-clinical provider of supportive services to have an hour or more with each of my clients. In the landscape of healthcare this is a lot of time! When given an hour to share one's story, a small question about goals may offer larges spaces for reflection on their journey through cancer, their hope for recovery, their concerns about side effects and changes in their intimate relationships, their worry over recurrence or end of life processes, their sharing of what more they wished they had received during their excellent treatment. This time that we share together allows for me to not only create a framework for keeping the individual safe and providing effective services for their needs, but it allows for me to hear what more is needed for this person to truly recover. Do they need nutritional support, psycho-social services, physical therapy, pain management care? Do they need a witness to their emotional process and a hand to be held? Do they need a creative outlet to process the uncovered pieces of their cancer journey? Time, and only time will offer the gift of such storytelling.