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I was talking to a patient who was readmitted because of pleural effusion post chemotherapy on Sunday and it broke my heart to have her cry. The last time I spoke to her about her breast cancer she was strong, she said it’s something she has faced bravely and didn’t shed a tear. But on Sunday, about 3 weeks since I last saw her, she cracked. She told me that she is forced to smile and laugh on a daily basis because she doesn’t want to hurt her family by showing them how much she’s hurting, but it kills her inside. It meant so much to me when she said that she found that she could talk to me, ME of all people. She told me that in her stay at the hospital all the doctors, nurses and other medical staff have been kind and supportive, which is what she needs to get through her day. It was one of those moments you really understand the function of being in the medical field: alleviating pain, both physical and mental.

Sometimes, that thought is enough to get me through stuff. Then, I have days like today when I wake up and cry because I feel like I’m so crushed by the weight of the work. I really wish I could find a balance between both. That’s important.

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