The outpatient oncology clinic is a busy place in our hospital. In addition to the trained medical staff, there are a large number of volunteers, many of them cancer survivors, who help make life a bit easier for those coming for chemotherapy treatments. Here is a note I received yesterday in appreciation of all of them (names have been changed):
Beth Israel continues to impress and inspire us. I never would have thought it possible to look forward to coming to a chemo clinic, but that is exactly what happens now, at Shapiro. Mark was diagnosed with cancer in the fall, and we have had the most amazing experience there. But that first visit to the ninth floor is made with trepidation, as you can imagine. Soon enough, however, an adorable volunteer (and cancer survivor) by the name of George gently introduces himself, as he offers juice and biscuits from a little trolley. Through the course of the day, one then meets the other volunteers -- all former chemo patients, which is brilliant inspiration for people facing a great unknown. These precious people -- the same group comes every Monday, as you probably know -- move around the clinic throughout the day, simply putting people like us at ease, offering lunch, treats, even warm blankets. From the very beginning, I felt that Mark and I were in a sort of cocoon of gentle caring. From those wonderfully inspiring photographs of cancer survivors at the elevators, to everyone on staff there -- MDs, nurses, and aides -- it is an amazing experience. I never thought that a cancer clinic could be such a cheery, optimistic place -- I know it isn't always, but it is, for us, often enough, and it is genuine. You're probably well aware of the incredible job that people do there, but I just wanted to let you know that it continues. Just one more reason to cherish our beloved hospital.