From Operating Room to Friendship Because of Cancer

By Noelle LeVeaux | April 18, 2017

It’s hard to describe what a room of nearly a thousand healthcare professionals dancing to celebrate survivors, remember those we’ve lost, and cheer on those currently in the fight against breast cancer actually feels like. For me, it was like getting the biggest hug of encouragement I could ever imagine – and all before 7 a.m. – the time, when on most days, these operating room nurses are heading into surgery. And there are many, many surgeries. The CDC has breast cancer listed as the most common cancer in women, no matter your race or ethnicity.

My Journey

As a breast cancer survivor, I’ve endured two major surgeries and a few ‘minor,’ and that morning of the Breast Cancer Awareness breakfast hosted by Medline, I just wished I could have told each and everyone one of the nurses in that room how much they mean to their patients and how important they are. See, they are part of their patients’ health journey. One most of us will never forget. They play a part in a story (which I share through my own blog) we never saw coming and even though they are in a supporting role, they are there, in the midst of it all and we need them to understand their importance in our story.

Caregivers take part in Pink Glove dance.

It may have been just another Tuesday at work for them, but for me, it was the day I became cancer free thanks to my surgeon and the nurses in that OR. It was the day I started feeling like I’d get my life back after a 12 hour reconstructive surgery. It was the very emotional day they finally removed my port – the sign that even the doctors think you’re on the road to recovery.

It was clear that morning that Medline understands, with this being their 12th year for the breakfast. Although it is a breakfast about awareness, it was really a celebration of the spirit of giving, embodied by that very special group of medical professionals. Medline has also donated two million dollars to breast cancer awareness, research and early detection screenings nationwide.

Caregivers learn routine for Pink Glove Dance at Medline’s Breast Cancer Awareness Breakfast at AORN

My Lesson

Having cancer has taught me a lot. In my confessions I try to share some of the lessons I’ve learned, hoping that others can learn to live their best day ever without having to go through a major trial or tribulation. One of the things I learned is that we should all work harder to do more for others and consider it a privilege to have the chance to share the moments of life with others.

That morning of the reconstruction surgery was a moment in my life I’ll never forget because of the nurses. We laughed. We cried. We decided that life was too precious to just sit on the carousel and let it whiz by us in a blur. Together we decided it was time to jump into our own story with both feet. All these years later, I was grateful to share that moment with 700 of my newest friends.

Tell me how a group of healthcare professionals made a big impact on your life.

Categories: Caregiver Readiness, Expert Views, Social Responsibility

Noelle LeVeaux

Blogger and Speaker

Noelle LeVeaux is a breast cancer survivor who writes about her journey and busy life in her own blog called Confessions of a Single Mom with Cancer. On top of managing her own health and raising two daughters, LeVeaux has spent more than 20 years in marketing. She also has her own brand consulting firm, Noelle LeVeaux Concepts.

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