As some of you may remember, almost 2 years ago I got pretty sick. Thankfully I’m doing somewhat better now and am in the middle of a two-year long maintenance treatment. I’m currently writing this as I receive medicine through a port implanted in my chest by my shoulder and I’ve been here all day, I still have another 150 ml to go. I decided that rather than watch another episode of Breaking Bad on Netflix, I should write a little blog post. The clinic is essentially run by nurses who have received specialized training in oncology and totally kick-ass at their jobs. One thing I was thinking about just now is that several of the nurses in this room have literally saved my life multiple times, they have given me drugs to treat my disease, and when the going was rough given me life-saving blood transfusions and other medication. And I see them running around the room saving other people’s lives too, all day long. How many people can say that they directly saved several lives today? I certainly can’t. Probably most of you can’t either. You might say, “wait a minute you and we are performing basic biomedical research that will unlock key insights that can one day save peoples lives”. And I know basic research is necessary, without it none of the treatments I’ve received would have been possible, and having a basic science background certainly has helped in understanding various options. But still, my job seems completely trite and meaningless compared with the direct impact that these nurses have on their patients. And I really admire them for this.
So, if you ever meet a nurse, thank them on my behalf, if you are one reading this, thank you. Oh, and please go donate blood, this will certainly help someone directly, and thank you for doing so! Maybe we should start a little campaign to get science bloggers and their readers to donate blood, if you do donate send me a note, and I’ll publish the tally a month from now. See if we can get a modest 15 people to donate blood and thank a nurse, here we go!