Buckle up, this is a tear jerker. Lindsay Norris, a 33-year-old mother-of-two from Olathe, Kansas, has spent years taking care of cancer patients as an oncology nurse. But it wasn't until she herself was diagnosed that she truly understood what it feels like, she explains in a powerful blog post titled: "Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I’m sorry. I didn’t get it."
Norris posted the heartfelt letter on November 14th, two months after being diagnosed with stage III colorectal adenocarcinoma. “I didn’t get what it felt like to actually hear the words,” she wrote. “I didn’t get how hard the waiting is … I didn’t get how awkward it was to tell other people the news … I didn’t get the mood swings … I didn’t get that it hurts to be left out.”
In the letter, Norris, who is mom to Harrison, 3, and Evelyn, 7 months, said her biggest regret was in how she handled her patients who were also parents. “I didn’t get how much you worried about your kids,” she wrote. “I should’ve talked to you more about them — and not just in terms of lifting restrictions or germs. You worried about how this was going to affect them. You worried about not being able to keep up with them or care for them properly on your bad days. You worried they’d be scarred and confused. You worried about leaving them. I’m sorry. I didn’t get it.”
Norris also said in her blog that she is currently undergoing oral chemotherapy and radiation, and that her husband, Camden, has been a huge support system for her and their kids.
She ended her letter on a positive note. "Even though healthcare workers don’t really know what it’s like to be you (well, us) it’s ok," she wrote. "Nobody does. I just hope that I was still able to give you a little guidance and strength to help you get through your cancer treatment. Even if I didn’t get it."
I can't speak for her patients but I'm pretty sure they forgive her and wish her well! She seems like an amazing nurse and human with far more compassion than most of us.