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ADVANCE Perspective: Nurses

Every Step of the Way: A Nurse's Cancer Diary - Entry 7

Published March 20, 2012 3:08 PM by Guest Blogger

Nancy Cohen, BSN, RN, has graciously shared her personal journal, in which she writes about doing battle with cancer for the second time in her life. This is the seventh installment of a weekly blog that will enable readers to join her on the journey.

Entry 7: Worthwhile Adjustments

November 4, 2011

Four days out from my surgery. Still very sore, looking for old worn-out shirts and belt loops to attach the Jackson-Pratt drain, damn cumbersome silicone grenade. At the same time, I’m trying to navigate the medical-legal nightmarish loop of benefit jargon.

As I’ve said to Tim for years, we’re all a disease, disability or car accident away from being destitute, even homeless. That’s what emergency funds are all about, right? But I feel so unproductive because I’m no longer bringing in an income. At times it makes me feel worthless.

Tim goes to work every day, Drew attends school every day and I’m home, healing from the effects of cancer treatments.

I have to convince myself of the fact that I’m more than a nurse, more than a paycheck. I’m a wife, a mother, a daughter and a friend. Perhaps I’m even all things to these people so I suppose I shouldn’t discount my “value,” if you will.

I wasn’t eligible for the Family Medical Leave Act because I was part-time, so I hadn’t worked exactly 1,250 hours in the past year. I’d accumulated nearly 6 weeks of paid-time off and sick time. After that, I’m juggling cancer treatments with creative financing.

The anger returns: that small piece of breast tissue gone awry has completely upended everything in my life. Nothing will ever be the same again. We’ll all have to make adjustments.


Click here to read Entry 6: A Rare Occurence.


Good entry this week.

Tim April 3, 2012 8:14 PM

Nancy Cohen, BSN, RN, has graciously shared her personal journal, in which she writes about doing battle

March 27, 2012 2:42 PM

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