When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way.
A Word of Hope
Lately, I started to feel overwhelmed. A couple of months ago, I realized that I badly needed a change in my responsibilities at work. I am an Oncology Nurse Navigator, which means that I help patients at the time of a cancer diagnosis and during the time that they are going through treatment for their cancer, to make sure that barriers to treatment are minimized and to provide support as needed. My area of specialty at the time was Complex GI, which included pancreatic cancer, liver cancer, and esophageal cancer, among others. If you have had any experience with any of these types of cancer, you would know that these can have a poor prognosis. In my experience, many of these patients die within a rather short time frame. After years of navigating these patients, I was having a hard time staying positive for these patients, and I was very disappointed in myself.
I knew that I wasn’t doing the job that I wanted to do for these people. I had a brand-new boss, and I was afraid to tell her that I needed a change. I didn’t know how she would receive that news. My anxiety level was getting out of hand. I was 60 years old, and aware that I was lucky to have a decent job. Many people my age are forced out of their jobs to make way for younger, lower paid workers. I tried to struggle on, thinking that it was a bad idea to make waves by requesting a change. But finally, I realized that I was so unhappy that something had to change. I asked the new boss for a change in assignments, and let her know that I was having a tough time handling the poor prognoses of the patients on my case load. Her response was amazing. She thanked me for my candor. She promised that she would reassign me to a different case load, and let me know that it would take her a couple of months to make the arrangements for the reassignment. In the meantime, one of my colleagues who was a breast cancer navigator resigned her position to make a job move. While I was sad to see her go, I wondered if this might be the answer for me. A short time later, I was informed that I would be taking over her case load. Trusted colleagues have been training me over the last couple of weeks to take the new position.
In general, the patients I will be working with have much more positive prognoses than the patients I was working with before. I feel more hopeful about my job than I have in several years. I feel that I can work happily and effectively in this position until it is time for me to retire. I see the hand of God in how this all worked out, and am reminded of how many times in my life I have been aware that God was looking over me during the tough times.
Loving God, I want to always remember that You are at my side, especially during the toughest challenges in my life. When I become overwhelmed, let me stop and recognize that You are with me; there to help me shoulder my burden. Your presence calms and comforts me.
Cathedral of Hope Member