Because radiation is a therapy that happens every day for weeks, you start to see some of the same people in the waiting room as your schedules overlap. I kept to myself but I certainly did notice a few faces that became a little more familiar, particularly those who would be leaving just as I … Continue reading Finishing Radiation: Waiting Room Story #2
Author: Hui-wen (Alina) Sato
Finishing Radiation: Waiting Room Story #1
The bell I rung signaling completion of my radiation was near the short hallway where patients enter from the waiting room and move into the space branching out to various radiation treatment rooms. Just as I had finished ringing the bell and was moving toward the hallway to exit, one of the therapists had called … Continue reading Finishing Radiation: Waiting Room Story #1
Join Me at the End Well Symposium this November!
I am beyond thrilled to be speaking at the End Well Symposium in Los Angeles this November. I’m so grateful for their focus on pediatrics this year. It is a population that evokes particularly tender emotions when we talk about end of life, because goodness, they're only just getting started. It is a tremendous privilege to be … Continue reading Join Me at the End Well Symposium this November!
Finding the Story Amidst Technicalities
Today I went for a CT scan to prepare for upcoming radiation as part of my breast cancer journey. I've been posting some reflections about my experiences for friends in my personal social media accounts, but I will share one here because it pertains to the way we can go about the technicalities of our … Continue reading Finding the Story Amidst Technicalities
Podcast Interview on The Apologies Podcast Airs Tomorrow!
I first had the pleasure of meeting Emmy Award-winning producer, Lindsey Whissel Fenton, when she invited me to be a panelist for her Speaking Grief webinar on "Minimizing Burnout in Death Care Professionals." Her deep empathy and curiosity about the deep and honest things that make us human shine through her work, and I am … Continue reading Podcast Interview on The Apologies Podcast Airs Tomorrow!
On Humility and Reading the Room
Yesterday I was talking with another nurse about a wonderfully vivacious coworker who used to work night shift in our unit years ago. She had a way about her where she could create easy conversation with any patient and family member, shine a bright smile and lighten the mood of just about any room. We … Continue reading On Humility and Reading the Room
Seen from the Outside In and Inside Out
When I was first getting my diagnostic mammogram, ultrasound, and ultimately biopsy for the lump I’d found, I remember being so struck by how busy the breast clinic was. The women sitting in the clinic were of varying ages and ethnic backgrounds, with differing clothing and hairstyles giving clues to our personalities. But one by … Continue reading Seen from the Outside In and Inside Out
The Call that Shifted Me from Nurse to Patient
"The results of your biopsy are back. Unfortunately, it is invasive ductal carcinoma." "Ok.... ok." I immediately felt hugely detached from myself, as though I was watching the person holding her cell phone, reaching for a chair to steady herself. It was like watching that pivotal scene in the movie where the audience gasps and … Continue reading The Call that Shifted Me from Nurse to Patient
An ICU Nurse’s Complicated Relationship with the Turn of the New Year
I wrote a post around Thanksgiving about the strange chasm between holiday bliss and hospital grief. After that post, our unit entered into a stormy December when we saw one tiny human go from just so new to the world, to an everything-altering diagnosis, to sick but cute and alert, to crashing onto ECMO and … Continue reading An ICU Nurse’s Complicated Relationship with the Turn of the New Year
Wrestling Hard with Why I Stay
Yesterday, I was in a space with a group of healthcare workers exploring the topic of "Why I Stay." I hoped for some inspiration, some rekindling or stoking of a fire that feels in danger of being extinguished. It was a sobering slap of reality to hear more unexpected silence than active engagement in the … Continue reading Wrestling Hard with Why I Stay