In honor of nurses week I would like to take a moment to pause and honor the unsung heroes that are a huge part of any child’s battle with cancer. Pediatric oncology nurses.
These amazing people are the ones who are with you the most. They hold your hand when you hear those awful words, “your child has cancer.” They remind you to eat. To drink some water. Sing your baby songs as they have to be poked and prodded and examined for the umpteenth time that day.
These nurses are the ones that clean up when your child vomits from chemo. Run to get you whatever medicine it takes to make them feel better. Call and nag the pharmacy, doctors, charge nurse, etc for whatever question you have or to get whatever is necessary to help you and your child.
We had some truly fantastic nurses throughout Olivia’s cancer battle. They loved us and most importantly they loved our daughter. They genuinely cared and tried with all their might to help Olivia survive.
Then when that day came and Brett and I got the horrifying news that Olivia was not going to survive, it was those same nurses that sat beside us as we received the news. They walked the halls entertaining Wyatt so that we could focus on Olivia and listen to what her doctor had to say about what would happen now. They made phone calls and arrangements so that Olivia could come home with us and still have the care she needed in her final days. They checked on us. They cared.
We also had a truly amazing friend who is a nurse who acted as our hospice nurse (which is far from her normal job description) so that we could let Olivia live out her final days at home. She administered medications. Did examinations. Kept in touch with Olivia’s team in Denver. And when Olivia passed away, she was the one who had to call her time of death. She made the call to the coroner and made the notifications. She let us just be mom and dad in those final moments. She let us have the best experience we could possibly have at the worst time of our lives.
We are beyond grateful to each and every single nurse that ever cared for Olivia. Thank you is not enough. You are true angels in disguise.
Olivia Caldwell Foundation is a 501c3 nonprofit that raises money for pediatric cancer research and care. You can learn more and donate at www.oliviacaldwellfoundation.org. All donations are tax deductible.