In 1999, I was diagnosed with
fourth stage mediastinal lymphoma. It was a very scary time in my life
and I was treated here at Cedars.
Thanks to Dr. Wolin, I’m standing here today. If it wasn’t for him, I
would definitely not have made it. I had just gotten into remission when I was
asked by my oncologist and nurses to come back and talk to some patients
at the Cancer Center. [Jasmin] Hi there, I’m Jasmin.
[Patient] Nice to meet you. [Jasmin] Nice to meet you! And your name is? [Patient] Maureen?
[Jasmin] I’ve been volunteering here for about a year and the thing is I used to be a
patient here myself actually. It was over forty years ago and that’s why
I decided I wanted to do something. [Maureen] You’re fourteen years out, so that’s
great. And I’m fourteen years in! [laughs] I guess.
Yes, fourteen years and I had it for the forward diagnosis in the beginning.
When I was first diagnosed, I remember thinking in slow-motion,
one minute at a time, even playing the radio, and doing certain things that
and it just…. I mean, cancer turns your world upside down.
Whether people know that or not, I don’t know.
But it affects everybody, including your family members.
[Jasmin] Yeah, the down days are definitely some dark times.
that you’re going to be in as a patient. I have had some
really dark days at the Cancer Center, but it was that one interaction with… whether
it was a nurse, whether it was my doctor, whether it was a
volunteer. Those dark days and down days
were lit up by these people. You know, each day and each
time, the volunteers can be different and I think that is the unconditional
purpose, also. You’re not there to expect something, you know, and need to be here
and do something. If it happens organically, fine. Some days are not where you feel like
you’re making a difference and I actually had to struggle with that a little bit.
Because it feels like, “Oh! I’m not really here for someone today!” But I had to also be okay with that.
I had to learn that, as a volunteer to be okay with, you know, today I went in
and nobody was really needing me! And that’s okay also.
Next time around, there was a person that really needed me.
And those are the moments we have to remember. You know, I made it to the
other side and I have the possibility to give so much
back. I’m lucky I’m here today and if that’s all
I can do for people and if that matters to people,
that.. that’s priceless for me.