I have known for a while that May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month, and every news outlet has been reporting on the topic as well. However, what I learned today is that May is also Oncology Nursing Month! Luckily, there is still a day and a half to show your oncology nurses your appreciation, if you haven’t already.
Though May is the “official” time to honor your oncology nurses, really these men and women deserve praise and gratitude all year long. They are there with you through the ups and downs of your treatment, always available to listen to your needs and help out in any way possible.
This year, the theme for the month is “Oncology Nursing: Lifting Spirits, Touching Lives.” I couldn’t think of a more appropriate statement, even though it may be hard to describe all that they do in mere words.
There are many ways to show your oncology nurse that you appreciate him/her this month, and the Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) has a few additional options, such as awards and a foundation. They also offer the Honor Someone Special program, which presents a “simple yet meaningful way to say ‘thank you’ to a cancer nurse who, in their own practice, promotes excellence in oncology nursing and quality cancer care.”
I happened to discover the importance of this month when I stumbled across a lovely article posted on the Mesothelioma Alliance Cancer Blog. On the blog, I found heartwarming stories contributed by cancer patients, survivors and nurses themselves who have been touched by the important relationship that exists between cancer patients and their nurses. If you do nothing else to celebrate Oncology Nursing Month, read through these beautiful stories. I dare you to get through them with dry eyes, because I sure needed to keep a fresh tissue handy.
May is over in just a couple of days, but that doesn’t mean you can’t show your oncology nurse appreciation year-round. A card, some flowers or a small gift is a lovely gesture, but a smile, a thank you or a hug costs nothing and has a priceless result.
Here’s to the oncology nurses out there on behalf of the Cancer Compass Blog! Thanks for all that you do.