Welcome everyone to our 2012 annual meeting celebration:

I see community members, colleagues and clients..friends of Cancer Resource Center and mine.

I am Kerry Quinn, Director of Client Services, and I’m proud to be part of the work of this organization and get to work with so many wonderful people. My colleagues, volunteers, clients and Cayuga Medical radiation and oncology doctors, nurses, therapists and all those who work alongside them.

When I was asked to introduce our speaker, Kat Lynch, an oncologist nurse at CMC, loved and appreciated far and wide, I thought about what I see everyday in the chemo lab, radiation department, imaging and throughout the hospital.

My work, of helping clients and their loved ones navigate a cancer diagnosis and treatment, brings me into daily contact with these individuals and they are priceless! A cancer diagnosis forces people into a world of unknowns and uncertainties. Individuals are usually scared and overwhelmed, to the point of not knowing what step to take next. many decisions must be made during this challenging time when your mind is in a swirl..and these are decisions that will affect everything in your life…

Your family
Your job
Money
Your future
Your health
YOUR LIFE.
and added to that…every person brings unique characteristics to dealing with illness:
Personality
Ways of coping with stress, fear and the unknown
A set of beliefs and values
Ways of looking at the world and their life.

Someone diagnosed with cancer, in this crucible of emotions, ALSO needs to seek out a new relationship…that is going to be hugely significant on this journey…a medical team to get them through.

So… I was thinking from the point of view of the patient placing a classified ad..a job posting.. Mary Poppins search crossed with Match.com..something along those lines and I thought it would read read something like this:

WANTED: SEEKING NEW RELATIONSHIP

First: I will be honest and upfront… I never really wanted you in my life, and don’t now, but I need you… so read on…
I am looking to enter into a relationship that I am hoping is going to be a relatively short one…and when it ends? ..we may or may not stay in each others lives.
The time that we spend together will probably be one of the most difficult and challenging years of my life and I’ll need you by my side through it all..

You will need to understand that I may be tired, cranky and impatient often because I may be scared and not feeling well. You will be calm, patient and reassuring when I am..

I will sometimes be angry, feel defeated and ask “Why Me”? And you’ll be encouraging and supportive.

I’ll need your advice and expertise on a lot of things…both big and small and you’ll give it willingly..and I may..or May Not….follow it..

I may be confused and forgetful at times but I will need you to always be smart, well informed, sharp and able to explain complex things to me in easy and understandable ways.

You’ll celebrate my successes..large and small and provide comfort and encouragement when the road seems too long and rough..
You’ll be needed to be able to recognize and anticipate my every need…see bumps in the road that I don’t and how to navigate them..
I’ll always get a smile when I walk in the door, you’ll care about how I slept and my appetite, and offer hugs when I leave..

I may be bald..covered in a rash..dressed in whatever and weepy ..you’ll look at me and think I’m beautiful and…you’ll tell me so!

You’ll welcome me and my family and friends in and be kind and patient with all of them as well..
I’ll need you to be forgiving if I’m grumpy when I’m not feeling well and you’ll never ever be grouchy back at me.

You Must be an amazing creative problem solver and able to deal with whatever unexpected things come up..

Just a couple more things:

Must Haves:
Positive Outlook
Ability to Laugh
Can remain calm in the face of crises and challenges

And MUST HAVE:
A Big Heart
Open mind
sense of humor
top of the line excellent medical skills
lots of energy..
you’ll need to be available to listen to:
my aches and pains
whining
complaining
frustrations and fears
and REALLY CARE about the details of all of them…and I’ll need you to help me brainstorm solutions to them.

I may always/sometimes/never bring you candy. Flowers. And cards….I may or may not show you how much I appreciate you.
It doesn’t matter if you like piña coladas, getting caught in the rain, moonlit walks, candlelight dinners or NASCAR races…

And what will you get from this relationship?
I will always remember and appreciate how you treated me and made me feel special, cared for and in good hands.
You will have lent me your hope and skill and……A time will come when I heal and lend my renewed hope to others….

if you are answering this ad..you could very well be Kat Lynch or any part of the Oncology team and radiation department.

I would like to invite Kat to share a few words and thank everyone for coming and doing what you do everyday for all of us and our community.

Thank you.

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