Dear Nurses Caring For My Daughter With Cancer, I See You

"I sit on this couch all day long and I see you."

Dear Peds Nurses,
(And incredible nurse techs!)

I see you. I sit on this couch all day long and I see you. You try so hard to be unnoticed by me and my child. I see your face drop a little when she sees you and cries. You try so many ways to ease her fears and win her over. I see you hesitate to stick her or pull bandaids off. You say, "No owies" and "I'm sorry" more times in one day than most people say "thank you."

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I see all of those rubber bracelets on your arms and wrapped around your stethoscope, each one for a child that you've cared for and loved. I see you carrying arm loads of medicine and supplies into one child's room, all while your phone is ringing in your pocket from the room of another. I see you put on gloves and a mask and try not to make too much noise at night. I see you sorting piles of beads so you can give them to your patient to add to their ever growing milestone necklace. I see you stroke her little bald head and tuck her covers around her tightly. I see you holding the crying mom that got bad news. I see you trying to chart on the computer while holding the baby whose mom can't or won't be at the hospital with her.  

Courtesy of Shelby Skiles

You put aside what's happening in your life for 12 hours straight to care for very sick and sometimes dying children. You go into each room with a smile no matter what's happening in there. You see Sophie's name on the schedule and come to check on us even when she isn't your patient. You call the doctor, blood bank, and pharmacy as many times as necessary to get my child what she needs in a timely manner. You check on me as often as you check on her. You sit and listen to me ramble for 10 minutes even though your phone is buzzing and your to-do list is a mile long. 

I see you using your phone as a template to paint the perfect cartoon character on the new kid's window. I see you cheering so enthusiastically for the kid taking laps around the nurses station. I see you with that Nerf gun, hiding from the kid around the corner. I see you hold tiny hands, change dirty sheets, translate medical talk for parents, and wipe your eyes coming out of a particularly hard room. I see you put on gloves, masks, and a gown then pause before you hang an IV bag of poison chemo for my kid.

I see you. We all see you. No amount of snack baskets or cards can fully express how appreciated you are. You are Jesus to us every single day. Our children wouldn't get what they need without you. Moms like me wouldn't feel sane or heard without you. You save our babies and we couldn't do this without you. 

Love,
A mom that sees all you do and loves you dearly for it.

This story originally appeared on Shelby Skiles's Facebook page dedicated to her daughter, Sophie. Two-year-old Sophie was diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma earlier this year and is working hard to kick cancer's butt. Skiles shares updates about Sophie's journey on her Facebook page titled Sophie the Brave.  

Cover image via Unsplash

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