1. Blanchard, Jennifer MSN, RN, CWON

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She first felt it in the shower but ignored its marble shape.


Her lover reminded her as he palpated the sensual landscape.


He first noticed something different as he looked at his reflection.


A bulge in his neck was growing larger upon closer inspection.


She hurried to the clinic to determine its plausible presence.


Tests and examinations were ordered to assess its very essence.


His family and friends pointed out this visible uninvited addition.


So he made an appointment for treatment with a primary physician.


She followed their requests to position herself into the constriction apparatus,


And laid still on the table while covered with gel to further probe for its status.


He was shocked that prescription antibiotics would not be the solitary answer,


And heard nothing said after, "We need to test it to make sure it isn't cancer."


Her follow-up appointment included a long discussion of benign versus malignant,


So she signed the consent for biopsy and mastectomy if the results were significant.


He had to have a piece of it removed and sent off to be looked at more closely by lab,


And then they did a bone marrow aspiration and other painful tests he had never had.


Oncology said diagnosis breast cancer and diagnosis Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.


Stage IIIS and Stage IIIB were the labels that were given for his and hers carcinomas.


Unlikely strangers sitting side by side in reclined chairs hooked up to noxious IV pumps,


Forming a unique bond, telling their stories, contemplating their fates, and taking their lumps.


Jennifer Blanchard, MSN, RN, CWON, is a nationally Certified Wound Ostomy Nurse and previously worked as an oncology nurse in charge of a rural outpatient facility. She has been in nursing for more than 15 years and is now pursuing a PhD in the profession with a research focus on grief and loss. She currently works as an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Saint Luke's College of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Missouri. She writes that she has enjoyed writing poetry for most of her life, but has never pursued publication until recently.

Jennifer Blanchard, ... - Click to enlarge in new windowJennifer Blanchard, MSN, RN, CWON. Jennifer Blanchard, MSN, RN, CWON