One Patient’s Story
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The letter below is from a mom who had not spoken to her son since he had been diagnosed. Since his diagnosis, he would only communicate to her via text, until he went to the AYA unit at his hospital. He called her afterward and this is what she wrote:

To whom it may concern,


My young adult son has been placed on a “high speed bullet train” since finding out he had metastatic cancer.


It’s been a speeding train of activity: Diagnosis, fertility preservation, surgery, blood clot, pulmonary embolism, pneumonia, chemotherapy. Inpatient, outpatient. All of that in just 40 days.


Yesterday, I heard “hope” in my son’s voice, for the very first time.
“Hope” that someone understood his journey.
“Hope” that someone could relate.
“Hope” because someone “knew how” to see his pain and suffering, and ease it.
This “hope” came from him receiving a Christmas stocking.


He euphorically reported:
“They gave me a beanie, and a head scratcher, a sleeping mask, lip balm, door dash (that will help a lot when I can hold something down), a mini speaker and candy, of course!”


He said, and I quote:
“They really knew what is needed and what helps.”
I heard his audible exhalation and I heard his voice quake with emotion.
Someone, someone, finally understands.


As family members, we can try to love on them but it is often not the right thing, because cancer is so foreign to those of us who have never experienced it.


It takes those who understand to be willing to meet the newly diagnosed, where they are.


Thank you to each of the angels and elves who worked on those stockings.
Thank you for caring to reach out to him, and others.
Thank you for being his life line.
Thank you for knowing how to come beside him.
You made a huge difference. You helped my son. My heart is grateful.