I took my Surface Pro (most favorite pc ever!) along with me on its first field trip--a visit to the Deaconess Gateway Hospital Infusion Center. I'd written a little ShoutOut for them on Facebook earlier in the week, noting their oh-so-comfy chairs, equipped with swivel tables. They're the perfect size to accommodate my Surface, a bell (for if I fall outta the chair and can't get up) and a cup of SF Ginger Ale served with "that GOOD ice!" You know the good ice... Little pellets with the perfect crunch factor.
My intent was to write today's post while getting an iron infusion. The new port I got installed makes it easy. No more sticking attempts with run-away veins.
As it turned out, I didn't get to write the post, or even get it started. I did manage to get a few photos to include for you.
It's all good. The change of plans was for the best of reasons.
From the start, even before I got my workspace set up, I was already being swept up in the atmosphere of the place. I was given the most excellent of medical care combined with personal care.
They have some of the most wonderful medical professionals I've ever encountered. My opinion has nothing to do with their medical expertise, which is exemplary. It has everything to do with how they interact, on a personal level, with the patients in their care.
They were warm, compassionate, considerate, upbeat and totally engaged with my sister and me (Nee's been chauffeuring me to every appointment since I got sick). They were both personal and professional. In good patient care, both are essential. That's my opinion as both a medical professional of nearly 30 years, and now as a patient in treatment for cancer.
I wasn't looking forward to the procedure, but my attitude changed in just one visit. The Infusion Team, consisting of both paid and volunteer staff, are so awesome, I'm actually looking forward to my next two infusion therapy sessions with them.
They not only provided me with interesting conversation, but I got gifts, too! I declined their goody-bag of snacks--they didn't keto-qualify. However, I got this wonderful little seat-belt buddy. It was made by Owen, a young volunteer, participating in a local program that makes them for the infusion center patients. It helps keep our ports safely cushioned from a seatbelt strap. This is the one I chose...
Owen, you did a great job on the port-pillow. Love the artwork and I promise, that with the help of Messiah Yeshua, I plan to stay strong and encouraged. I also pray the Lord blesses you for your compassion and dedication in making these wonderful, inspiring gifts for folks like me.
In an environment speckled with some intimidating visuals, there are many things in the center to counteract the negative. These things help patients focus on better, healthy, positive things. Below was the setup for the iron infusion and a shot of my chemo-ball, that I've been wearing in a fanny-pack since Monday.
Even all the medical apparatus cannot compete with the smiles and kind voices of the folks there to care for their patients. We were privilege to meet an obvious favorite, who spent most of our visit with us. He's a cancer survivor and a Chemo Buddy volunteer. Nee and I liked him immediately and were so happy he pulled up a chair and hung out with us while I was infused.
If you're ever blessed to cross paths with this gentleman, please extend him some thanks for the wonderful work he provides to the patients in the infusion center. He's a jewel and helped make the our time there a wonderful experience.
Not all medicine comes in a bottle, bag or needle. Some of the best medicine comes from the heart of those with patients in their care. One of my nurses shared a story with me about one of her colleagues being told by another nurse, in another field, they could never work in an environment like the infusion center due to the reason for the treatments having a chunky mortality rate. Cancer is an ugly word, ugly concept and ugly to contemplate in every direction. The nurse of another field felt the infusion center would be a sad and emotionally strained environment.
The infusion center nurse responded that there was no other area she'd rather work in... Kindness, for as long as a person is alive to receive it, is worth the effort of giving. Sometimes it's the very thing that makes the difference between life and death.
In a positive, compassionate environment, we the patients, can be empowered by the reactions kindness produces in us, both physically and spiritually. Kindness and positive interactions help us produce healing endorphins, which helps us fight disease and replace bad cells with healthy ones. We gain an infusion of hope to help us endure the journey to better health.
Those of us who belong to Christ often also experience an escalation of faith. Love and compassion are both attributes of God, so it's not surprising to experience a faith-boost when we encounter kindness from others.
All of those things take away much of cancer's power... Only my Creator can decide on the day, hour and minute I depart from this life to the Long Home. Cancer doesn't have that authority. But, while I go through the steps of getting rid of it, these folks in the infusion center are helping me in ways a prescription drug can't. I'll be ever grateful for all they do in their desire to work with folks trying to recover from a deadly illness.
10 Be not afraid, for with thee I [am], Look not around, for I [am] thy God, I have strengthened thee, Yea, I have helped thee, yea, I upheld thee, With the right hand of My righteousness.
11 Lo, all those displeased with thee, They are ashamed and blush, They are as nothing, yea, perish Do the men who strive with thee.
12 Thou seekest them, and findest them not, The men who debate with thee, They are as nothing, yea, as nothing, The men who war with thee. (Isaiah 41:10 Young's Literal Translation)
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