childhood cancer

Oncology Patient Returns to CHOC as Oncology Nurse

In honor of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, we share a poem written by Kim, a registered nurse in the hematology/oncology unit at CHOC, at the time she finished her training. Kim is a cancer survivor and former CHOC patient.


I had no idea what this was going to bring up

All these memories and feelings I have folded so neatly in a cup

Tucked away never again to be touched

Walking back into CHOC, oh how I have forgotten so much

You see, I once had cancer too

I came back as a nurse to see what I could do

I once told my own nurses, now peers, I will be back. Something I am sure they heard before

10 years later I walk through CHOC’s door

As a registered nurse I am proud to be

But I never underestimate the patient that is still inside of me

People have told me it takes certain strength to face it again

“Doesn’t it remind you of all your pain?”

My pain?, I think, I am one of the lucky ones.

I get to come to work and I have fun

I am allowed to make funny faces

I make kids laugh and participate in car chases

I am able to share in life’s precious moments daily

Except for the need of possibly doing a Foley

Even when I am running around like a chicken with no head

I will always take time for that scared kiddo sitting in the bed

There are times when I step back and remember

When that was once me waiting for a cure

This hasn’t been easy, seeing the chemo’s and procedures

And sitting through those late effects lectures

Sometimes when the day has been hard I ask myself, “Why did I pick THIS? What else could I have been?”

But I quickly remind myself I didn’t pick this- it picked me way back when.

I am surrounded by hope, a side people do not see

For I am a proud survivor and now registered nurse of pediatric oncology.

Related posts:

7 thoughts on “Oncology Patient Returns to CHOC as Oncology Nurse”

  1. As a cancer survivor myself, I am proud of the fact that this courageous woman, once a cancer patient herself, is now on the front lines in the battle against an ugly disease. I am also proud of her because she is a member of my family- her mom is my cousin!

  2. We honestly didn’t have Kim often, but her story is inspirational; like so many<3 She can provide not just her experience in the Oncology Nursing profession, but a level of personal relation to a parent like myself and our kids on the Oncology floor. In so many ways, it makes a difference not just hearing, but SEEING a person who has not just gone through it, but make it, and making a difference with it!

  3. Kim,
    I never knew this about you I just knew you have a heart of gold..

    I know love and smiles will come through your heart and hands for them children at CHOC.

    You are the best!

  4. Kim I’m so proud of you and your strength to return to the kids to the kids who need you most. Bless you and the work you do!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *