An interesting installment of my BE THE GOLD – Childhood Cancer Awareness series had me interviewing a medical professional who works in a children’s oncology ward; a truly difficult but essential facet of the childhood cancer world. I am amazed by the compassion and positive influence these incredible professionals have on the young cancer champions and their families. Due to confidentiality restrictions, I am not able to share pictures of my interview subject.
Question: Working with childhood cancer patients must be difficult, what inspires you to go to work everyday?
Answer: It is difficult to see kids go through their treatments and to have to be the one to administer the needles and medications that make them sick, but they are my inspiration. Their strength and innocence is incredible. They go through so much but they give you that “it’s ok” smile and it melts your heart. They truly are remarkable.
Question: What made you choose pediatric oncology as a career?
Answer: I guess it found me. I took a temporary position on the oncology floor several years ago and I never looked back. Some days are very difficult; when you lose a patient, that despite fighting with everything they have, they loose their battle but other days are enlightening; the days when you give their last treatment needle or when you sign off their chart and send it off to the After care clinic. That is a good day and a day that makes it all worthwhile.
Question: I have interviewed parents to get their perspective, do you have a lot of dealings with the parents?
Answer: Of course we do. The parents are with the children (most of them anyway) 24-7. Most of these poor parents have been thrust into our world in the most traumatic way. I am sure they never thought they would be dealing with a child with cancer and so we try to be there for them as well (as much as we can). Those of us working in the field of pediatric oncology chose this field, parents of a childhood cancer patient do not. They are put into a world of complex medications, side effects and life-critical decisions that they did not expect. It is every parent’s worst fear; a child with cancer. I consider it part of my job to be there to support them as well.
Question: My charity platform is Childhood cancer Awareness, is there anything you would like to share with my readers?
Answer: First of all, I commend you for this blog series. It is heartwarming to see the care and genuine desire you have to make a difference for these kids. To answer you question; the more childhood cancer is talked about, and the more awareness created will mean more visibility with those in the medical community, the research community and the government funding agencies. Seeing these amazing kids go through what they do everyday, emphasizes that so much more research and funding is required. No child should spend their days in the hospital fighting for their life. It’s just not fair. Government medical funding officials and medical administrators should ALL read YOUR blog to get a true perspective of how crucial it is to recognize the needs of these children and their specific cancer protocols.
Question: Is there any message you would like to leave my readers with?
Answer: It is impossible, for a variety of reasons, for everyone to be able to spend time on a kids cancer ward, and as much as we try to make it bearable, it is what it is; it’s the place no parent or child ever wants to be. I hope that someday a cure for childhood cancer is found and there will no longer be a need for an Oncology ward, but until that day comes, I will be here to help the kids and families as much as I can.
I would like to extend a very special thank you to my interview subject. Your viewpoint has a definite impact on my message and your presence and care for these amazing Heroes is truly a gift! Thank you!
Keep tuned in,