Oncology Nurse Writes Apology To Her Patients After Getting Cancer Diagnosis


By Eun Kyung Kim

Lindsay Norris walks miles every day in her job caring for cancer patients. But the Kansas nurse never walked a mile in their shoes until after getting a cancer diagnosis herself.

Now she understands all their grief, rage, panic and confusion in a way she never could before.

“Dear every cancer patient I ever took care of, I’m sorry. I didn’t get it,” she wrote in a powerful blog post about a month into her treatment for Stage III colorectal adenocarcinoma.

“I didn’t get what it felt like to actually hear the words,” she continued. “I’ve been in on countless diagnoses conversations and even had to give the news myself on plenty of occasions, but being the person the doctor is talking about is surreal.”

Norris, 33, said she also didn’t truly recognize how difficult it is to wait — for everything.

“It’s literally the worst part. The diagnosis process takes forever. The different consults, the biopsies, the exams and procedures ... and the scans. Ugh, the scans,” she wrote in the post, which has since gone viral.

“Knowing the cancer is there and knowing you’re not doing anything to treat is yet is an awful, helpless feeling. I’m sorry. I didn’t get it."

Norris was diagnosed late September after following up on numerous symptoms she previously attributed to her second pregnancy. She gave birth to a daughter in April but the gastrointestinal problems, hemorrhoids and what she thought was nerve pain failed to resolve themselves months later.

Norris, who also has a 3-year-old son, said she simply intended to share her blog post with friends, particularly her colleagues, to share deeper insight into what their patients experience.


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