We all have had “On Earth for a Reason” (Nurse.com/Article/EOS/On-Earth) experiences. Here’s mine: In 1971, I was an RN at a hospital in Jerusalem. As I was caring for a woman with metastatic breast cancer, she pointed to the tattooed numbers on her arm and asked me, “Why did God let me survive the death camp at Auschwitz, only to suffer this pain and death?” I was 25 years old, without any answers.
All I could do was hold her hand and we both cried. She passed away a few days later.
Until then, I only thought about my mother, who had breast cancer when I was 8 years old. Then 40 years after Mom’s surgery, I too was diagnosed with breast cancer. I felt that Mom and my patient were both holding my hand.
— Name withheld