the xanax diary

love, loss, healing and humor (in no particular order)

Honoring a Hero of My Heart…Part 2


As I wrote last week, bad stuff happens. But just a couple of days later I was reminded of something quite the opposite. I received an email about an essay I’d written for the “Extraordinary Healer” Award competition for CURE Today Magazine. I knew I hadn’t won, but was happy to present the subject of the essay, Blanca–Ken’s most beloved oncology nurse during chemotherapy–with the essay to give her an inkling of what she meant to him and what she still means to me, our family, and all the other patients she–and all the nurses at Creticos Cancer Center–so lovingly cares for.

Hello Ron,

I’m with CURE Media Group and wanted to let you know that we’ve selected your essay nominating nurse Blanca V. to run in our Extraordinary Healer book. Thank you so much for submitting it! When you have a moment, could you send me an email confirming the spelling of your name as well as a your address and a good phone number for our photographer to reach you. We’d love to photograph you with Blanca.

Also, attached are two releases for you to sign and return to me (either by mail, email or fax) that allows us to run the essay and the photo of you (my contact information is below). The book will come out in early 2014…

As I read this email, my eyes began devouring it faster and faster. The friction was so great, my eyes began “watering” to help lubricate them. It was a “do-over” of sorts. And the world would yet meet Blanca and hear about where her life journey and Ken’s intersected, resulting in a kind of magic I could never have hoped for. I was gushing (remember “dry eyes”)…for both of them…and that a little bit of their story would be “out there” for the world to see.

Another significant little piece of this puzzle involves adding “published” to my writing resume–something I’ve dreamed of since I was 13–for a reason I never could have imagined–or wanted, for that matter. But it’s for a reason I couldn’t be prouder of.

I can’t help but think that even now he keeps surprising me with gifts.

Ken with Marie (l) and his girlfriend Blanca (r) after what we hoped at the time would be is only round of chemo. They both took great care of him. April 30, 2010

Ken with Marie (l) and his girlfriend Blanca (r) after what we hoped at the time would be his only round of chemo. They both took great care of him. April 30, 2010

with Blanca and sis-in-law Katie on a social visit to the cancer center. May 13, 2011
with Blanca and sis-in-law Katie (& PadLo) on a social visit to the cancer center. May 13, 2011

Single Post Navigation

2 thoughts on “Honoring a Hero of My Heart…Part 2

  1. I love this so much. I had someone like this at Cedars. Her name is Lilian. After my surgery I had a scar that went below my bikini line and above my navel. Moving, turning over in bed, and coughing were so painful. This woman was a Clinical Partner and she made me feel more comfortable and at ease than anyone else there including the nurses (who were also great). She told me about her Mexican soap operas as she walked me down the hall, bathed me…cleaned me when I went to the bathroom. I was an adult woman being bathed. I was so embarrassed. She did it all with such a matter-of-fact attitude and smile that I stopped worrying. It didn’t feel so “clinical”. I was someone who was healing and she was my caretaker and advocate. I visited her about 10 months later. I cried because she meant so much to me and she was only with me for a week and then I was discharged. I have so much appreciation for her. She said she was just doing her job but really she did so much more.

    And congratulations on being published!

    Love you, Alma

    • Alma! I love THIS (& you) so much! Nurses and caregivers are a special kind of angel. I think their ability to reassure the patient’s dignity is essential. I’m so happy you had such a caring person aiding you after your surgery. Thanks, love. xoxoxoxoxo

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 372 other followers

%d bloggers like this: