Today I went to have my port placement done for chemotherapy treatment and I had a very attentive and skillful nurse taking care of me to prepare me for the procedure. She had a confidence about her and an energy with which she did her job that made me feel like I was in great hands. I found myself thinking that she is really good at what she does and that must make her patients feel settled.
Her name was Vy Nguyen. I talked with her for a little bit as she worked to start an IV for me. I noticed she had a scarf on her head with multiple shades of blue on it. It was really bright and pretty. I asked her about it.
She said this is what many of the chemo patients typically wear. I looked around and noticed that there were many staff members wearing scarves today. Some had on red scarves, some blue, and some were multicolored. I thought to myself, “How thoughtful of the staff to wear these scarves as part of their work attire to express support for the patients they are treating.”
Vy asked me if I had any questions about my port. I told her I had been a little nervous about it and had some questions about day to day activities with the port. She answered all of my questions with a reassuring tone. Then I asked her how the hook-up for treatments feels. Is it painful? Is it like an IV? She told me that they make a special cream to numb the skin in the port area before each treatment. But then she looked directly at me and said, “Personally, I have been through so much I just go straight at it.”
I was surprised! Was I talking to a person who was also a patient herself? I looked at her and asked—do you have a port? She pulled her shirt down a little and showed me a small scar below her collarbone where her port access was located.
Wow! That made such an impact on me! She was very busy with several patients so I didn’t get to talk to her very long but I decided that when she came back to me that I wanted to ask her some more questions.
In a few minutes, she returned to my bed and I asked her, “what’s your color?” She looked at me.
“Mine is purple,” I said.
She replied, “Mine is blue. I have colon cancer. I have been fighting for 4 years.”
I told her that she was the highlight of my day and I really appreciated her opening herself up like that. I knew she didn’t have to do that! I told her that she is a miracle and that she was an inspiration to me! She responded that she fights to live life and that is part of why she continues to work her job as a nurse. Her positivity was so uplifting!
I told her about my dream team and how I wanted to share positive stories with people. I asked if I could share her story with my dream team.
I am learning that people like Vy are all around us. Fighting to live life to the fullest. I am seeing them more and more. It surprises me how easy it is to miss people when we are not really engaged in what it means to live life to the fullest. That’s been me at times, but I am not missing it anymore!
It's incredible to me that God would give me a nurse today who is also a patient and a fighter herself. On a day when I need encouragement, this is what God does! It touches me deeply. Vy has three kids, one school-age, one teenage, and one full-grown. She has energy and is living. She told me she has days she is tired and she has to go home and sleep after her treatments but I watched her work today and her attitude is one of energy and confidence. She is not slowing down. She is living!
It is good to remember that we can all make an impact on someone else. Today that came in a very unexpected way that can only be explained by God. I don’t want to miss an opportunity to be an inspiration to someone else like Vy was for me! I know we all are inspiring sometimes in ways we don’t realize! Living every day to the fullest is how we inspire others to do the same! That’s what Vy did for me today!