Today is my last proton treatment & I am almost 2 weeks out from my last chemotherapy treatment, and I would love to tell you I’m doing great, but really, it depends on the moment. Lucky for you, I’m typing in the morning. This morning I’m reflecting on my experience at MD Anderson. I was listening to Alyn and AJ‘s pod cast last week, and Alyn made a comment about when things are done really well, really intentionally, he feels cared about, or something to this effect. I realized MD Anderson cares about caring excellently. It is the culture of this place to care. I have heard custodial staff being trained to make sure they greet and smile at the patients.
I have gone to a couple of dozen doctor visits, six chemotherapy visits, 33 proton therapy visits, fluid infusions, and had my vitals taken many many many times. And the remarkable thing is, each time you are treated like you’re the only person they are taking care of that day. I’m not, but people make eye contact and ask how you are doing.
Several of my chemo nurses let me know they prayed for me, one special lady remembered that she had treated me the week before. They asked questions about my life, not just my medical information. And don’t get me started about my Proton Team. They shared life with me, 5 days a week. I got to hear about their kids,their houses, the fact that Jay is a cancer survivor and plans to go to medical school (he’s going to be an amazing doctor). I’ve gotten close enough that the thought of not seeing them again makes me cry. Because in the most abnormal season of my life, their excellence has allowed me to feel less like a patient and more like a friend. It has been a huge blessing.
I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention the excellent care taken by my husband the other 22 hours a day. I guess I’m going to have to learn to share him with the rest of the world again. So it is with great celebration and a little bit of sadness that I come to today, the formal end of my treatments, but not the end of my recovery.
I come with this question: Where can I come with intentional excellence? Where can I treat people as the one, not as one of many? I have several answers, what about you?