Monday was such a hard and emotional day for me. Arkansas Children's Hospital, also known as the place of love, care and hope, has been a huge part of my life since 1978...when Jennifer was a patient there and then in 1990, when it became my work home and the home of my "second family"! When you work someplace for twenty years, it does become like family...you experience weddings, births, loss of loved ones, children graduating, becoming grandparents, career advancements, divorce, battles of illness, sorrow and many joys! I am and always will be so proud to be able to say that I was part of the team of the best Respiratory Therapist in the country! I have made many life long friends working there...co workers, patients and parents of patients...I am still friends with a loving family that I met in 1978...on the day that Jennifer was diagnosed with Cystic Firbrosis!
When I fought cancer eleven years ago, I was able to return to work and continue to give care, love and hope! After being diagnosed with the return of cancer this time, it was my intent, desire and hope to do the same...I really never doubted that I would be able to return. I guess being eleven years older does make it harder on the body. Last week I received a letter from the long term disability company from work. The letter said that they had determined that I was now 100% disabled. Now this is hard dose of medicine for me to swallow....first being, I just don't like the sound of being called disabled. I guess in my mind, I just didn't want to admit it. You see, your mind still thinks you will be able to continue doing everything that you want it to do, even though in reality, you know that you aren't able to do it. I know in my heart that I couldn't even walk from my car to the door of the hospital right now, and I sure couldn't work a twelve hour shift.
As I have said before, I am so proud to say that I am employee of ACH and so grateful for our manager and the wonderful people in Human Resources have been so very good to me...understanding, compassionate and caring. They have extended my leave from family medical leave to personal leave....allowing me to continue "Fighting Like a Girl" this latest battle.
Our busy season at work...RSV...is approaching. As badly as I want to return to work, I cannot in clear conscience, keep my position tied up. It would not be fair to make our staff short, because of me. After much prayer, a broken heart and manyu tears, I have resigned my position. Going to work gave me such joy and a sense of purpose in life. Even after moving to Hot Springs, I didn't mind making the commute. I looked forward to seeing my work family and the patients that gave me such joy to care for.
As this chapter of my life closes, I will still have all the wonderful memories of ACH, my friends and patients. I will continue to work on "The Jennifer Project", hopefully being able to expand and improve it. I will treasure the friendships I have made and continue them. I will continue to be grateful fore the knowledge
I have gained. I know that God is good, He is always in control and that He has the plan for all of us. I will take this as a sign from Him for me to concentrate on my fight against cancer. Hopefully, I will be able to one day return to ACH as a volunteer or even go back to work....whatever God chooses for me to do!