To the doctors, surgeons, radiologists and oncologists

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For being brilliant at what you do
For being willing to try new things
For sticking to your guns when you knew what would work
For not always understanding why I needed to know things; it means you’re great scientists
For listening to my objections and frustrations
For cracking a joke to put me at ease
For your perfectionism and professionalism
For your infrequent disregard for authority
For talking me out of my own head
For consulting with your peers to give me the best option
For trying again

Thank you for your perseverance.

To the nursing staff of Fin2, Entabeni and all nurses everywhere

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For bringing me meds when I said I was in pain
For not panicking when I cried in anguish
For sitting with me for a few minutes to watch tv
For talking me out of my own head
For friendly morning smiles
For being human, having a bad day and allowing me to cheer you up
For walking me to the toilet in the middle of the night
For not judging me and protecting me in moments of indignity
For endless patience as I battled my own frustration
For the encouraging stories you shared
For walking the passages with me and celebrating a new goal achieved
For bringing me spoons and bowls during my protein frenzy
For heating up food my visitors brought for me
For being a sergeant major when I needed it
For listening and for demanding
For middle-of-the-night dressing changes
For the many bed baths
For letting me show you how to empty my bag because you were in training (and allowing me to be my control freak self for a while)
For answering my calls when there were air bubbles in my drip
For sticking your head in the door to say hello because you hadn’t seen me all day
For delivering phone messages
For lending me your physical strength to lean on when I had none of my own

You’re a very special kind of people born to do this work.

Thank you for showing up every day and making a difference.

Gratitude

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Words cannot express my gratitude to all who contributed through visits, thoughts, prayers, wishes etc. during my rather dramatic hospital stint.

There wasn’t a single day that I didn’t have at least one visitor and I feel very blessed.  There was a prayer circle, some gossip catch-ups, a few laying-of-hands, some who kept vigil as I slept, some shared meals, food deliveries, a few 5-minute drop-ins and even some shared tv-watching.  I have no way of thanking everyone for their effort in getting there.  Parking is a pain, at times the weather was torrential, people have busy lives and still, you came.

Hospital is no fun and doesn’t do much for morale so take it from an over-experienced patient, if you’re in two minds about visiting someone in hospital, know that I cherished every message, phone call and email, but that I’ll never forget each time I saw your face when you took my mind off myself or you listened to me laugh or cry.

It will come back to you, perhaps not even from me, but you’ll be repaid.

Thank you and much love.