On Aug. 15th, I volunteered at Loma Linda Children’s Hospital and I came across a teen patient that I met when I first started volunteering almost a year ago.
The last time I spoke to him, he told me that he was almost done doing his chemotherapy treatment regimen. When I saw him this Monday, he said he was completely done with chemotherapy. I congratulated him because it has been a long time coming for him.
I noticed his hair was coming back, and I asked him how did it feel to have his hair coming back. He said he’s been waiting for the day his hair to come back.
I remember when I was finished with my chemotherapy treatment and it felt good when my hair came back because I was turning back into the person I once was before cancer came into my life and tuned it upside down.
When I first met this patient, I told him I was a former cancer patient on the same floor where he was doing his chemotherapy treatment. I also showed him pictures of myself during the time I was in-and-out of the hospital during my teen years. When I got done telling him my story, he told me he wanted to become a volunteer and help others the same as I’m doing.
Fast-forward to this Monday, he told me that he is done with chemotherapy and wants to start volunteering. I told him that it was great that he wants to volunteer so soon after just finishing chemotherapy treatment.
He told me there are some restrictions for the reason why he can’t volunteer as of now. For example, a patient has to be 18 years old, and if he or she was a former cancer patient. They have to be five years’ cancer free and free of being admitted as a cancer patient from the hospital where they did their chemotherapy treatment.
I didn’t know about this information because when I started volunteering, I was 30 years old and at the time have been cancer free for 12 years.
I always knew I wanted to give back to Loma Linda Children’s Hospital somehow, but I didn’t know when and how I was going to do it until a little over a year ago.
Overall, I was impressed with this teen patient’s positive attitude and how he wanted to follow in my footsteps of becoming a volunteer after defeating cancer. This patient at such a young age already had a plan of giving back as soon as he got finished with his chemotherapy treatment regimen.
* Myself along with the Child Life Assistant and another volunteer were playing a card game with the teen patient and some other child patients in the playroom. The teen patient asked me how my leg (prosthetic) was because I told him when we first met that I lost my right leg to cancer. I told him that I was good, and said thanks for asking.