Friday, November 5, 2010

Creating a World with More Birthdays

I don’t talk a lot about what I do as far as my professional career goes on here.  I’m not quite sure why I don’t talk about it because it’s not on purpose that’s for sure!

I’m a Registered Nurse.  Along with just being an RN, I’m also certified in Oncology Nursing.  That makes me: Karen, RN OCN

I used to work on an Oncology floor in our hospital.  I worked there for about 2 years. I loved my job and loved the people I worked with.  I used to enjoy going to work, I got close to our patients and their families.  Along the way, some would pass and we would mourn with their families-but some would live, and it was those who lived that we celebrated their life.  Slowly but surely, each one of those patients passed away too (because it’s usually the really sick ones that are admitted to the hospital). That’s when it hit me. I didn’t want to do that anymore. I didn’t want to be the one holding the patient’s hand as they passed away and consoling the family on a Sunday afternoon as they watched their loved ones being taken away on a stretcher.  I would go home at night and cry. I would cry my heart out for the patient, their life that was taken by this terrible disease, and their family who was in mourning as well.  I started to dislike my job-a lot. I would get nauseated in the mornings when it was time to go in.  I just knew it wasn’t for me anymore. 

Deep down inside though, I knew that I loved Oncology.  I knew this was an avenue that I wanted to pursue for the rest of my life.  God knew exactly how I felt at that time and I think I am one of the luckiest people on the face of the planet!.  A job became available  in the Regional Cancer Center at my hospital.  It was for an RN working with OUTPATIENT Radiation patients.  A dream come true.  I could still work with Oncology patients, not move hospitals at all, and pursue something that I loved.  Now I’m in a setting where I don’t dread going to work everyday. I enjoy working with our patients and taking care of them.  This setting allowed me to see our patients on a daily basis and take care of them, just not in an acute setting.  The amazing part about this job, we DO CURE some, and we truly get to celebrate that with them and their families. 

Another awesome part about my job: I get to work very closely with the American Cancer Society!!  Their theme:


Every day, they are celebrating a World with Less Cancer and more Birthdays! 


We were invited to their annual Celebration of Life Gala a few months ago!


My husband and I! :0)


They had a silent auction…


And I loved this!  They had a table with cupcakes (to celebrate birthdays) and candles to signify candles on a birthday cake!


My parents came along as well!


The comedian for their entertainment was pretty hilarious!

The best part about the night, they had all of the cancer survivors come on stage and they each held a candle in their hand. There was also a cake on stage.  Everyone in the audience sang HAPPY BIRTHDAY to them as they blew out their birthday candles. I never knew that the simple song: Happy Birthday could be a tear jerker but apparently it is! :0) 

Since that night, I’ve been determined that I would fight back, but in a different way than I’m doing now. I’m fighting back every day as a Nurse, but I want to do something as a runner as well!

I’m joining ACS’s DetermiNation team.  The American Cancer Society has partnered with the Rock and Roll Series enabling athletes to dedicate their training and participation in marathons to a lifesaving effort to fight a disease that has already taken too many lives. With every step taken and every mile conquered, these determined athletes are helping create a world with less cancer and more birthdays!


I made this necklace in honor of the race that I am running and I wear it every day. It’s my little reminder that there is Hope for a Cure!

Part of American Cancer Society’s Mission is:

  • Helping you stay well: We help people everywhere take steps to prevent cancer or detect it early.
  • Helping you get well: We’re in your corner to guide you through every step of a cancer experience
  • Finding cures: We research cancer's causes and cures - and we get results.
  • Fighting back: We work with legislators to pass laws that defeat cancer and rally communities to join the fight.

I’m giving back, and so can you!  Join me in this effort to create a world with less cancer and more birthdays! 

Check out my fundraising page at:


It takes determination to endure. 
                              It takes DetermiNation to find cures!


Thanks for your help!


(All donations are tax deductible. You will receive an official form in the mail stating your donation amount that can be used for your tax returns.)


  1. How inspiring!!! When you have found your calling, life can be so rewarding, and it appears that you just did!!!

    So happy to hear what you have been up to Karen!

    Trish (cdotla on disboards)

  2. Congrats on being a part of DetermiNation! How awesome ... you'll have a great experience!! Love the necklace, too. You look awesome in that photo, btw.

  3. I love the theme, that is so cute!

  4. Very cool. Also, I like the necklace. :-)

  5. love the necklace. thanks for sharing...what an amazing way to care for others!!

  6. This made me cry. I'm so glad you fight for this cause and work with cancer patients-it takes a special kind of person to do that :)

  7. Just saw this post, since it was linked to one of your recent posts. Thanks for doing your work and volunteering with me (just different areas). We are making a difference!!


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