Dignity Health | hello Healthy | Summer 2019

HelloHealthy | Summer 2019 11 From timidly walking into St. Joseph’s at age 25 – without yet having earned my degree in Music Therapy – to retiring 44 years later with confidence and friendships, my time at St. Joseph’s has been one heck of a ride. I began as a nurse’s aide and, for the last 30 years, I have coordinated programs and services for the cancer center. It’s been amazing to have the trust of hospital leadership to use my energy and creativity to connect deeply with patients and families and develop education and events for the community. I’m humbled to hear people say things like, “He’s leaving a legacy,” and “He’s helped so many.” That language doesn’t quite resonate with me. After all, this work-life of mine has been a “one day at a time” continuum. Never was there the strategic plan for any program, event, or service that I was involved in to ever happen again. Yet the Know Your Mind, Body and Spirit series lasted 25 years with 200 classes, and the Surviving Beautifully Fashion Show – featuring cancer survivors modeling positive attitudes – had a 20 year run! The Gathering of Friends events have been happening for over 30 years, and the TreatMeant for YOU! day for cancer survivors held its tenth program a few months ago. Through my work, I’ve had the privilege to get to know some truly amazing people who have refused to let cancer define them. Seeing and being with patients and families within the Medical Center has truly been a gift. The saying, “I’ve received much more than I have given,” is sincerely heartfelt by me. Surrounding myself with cancer survivors and families has also brought with it a daily self- introspection while I consider what it’s like to be in their shoes. Seventeen years ago, the hypothetical became reality when my wife, Trish, was diagnosed with breast cancer. At the time, our two boys were in their late teens. We were all reminded that no one is immune, and the experience of cancer in our family deeply affected each one of us. Thankfully, we were well-connected to amazing cancer expertise and treatments here at St. Joseph’s, confirming what we’ve known for years: There is no need to go out of the area for state-of-the-art treatment. (My wife is doing fine, by the way.) To all I have come into contact with, I say, “Thanks for the memories.” To the institution that, for over 120 years, has taken care of so many, I say, “Thank you for allowing me to walk the halls, do my thing, and express myself through my work.” People have been asking, “In retirement, what are you going to do?” And I say, “After I do it, I’ll let you know,” and “I’ll be around.” Jim Linderman Jwlinderman49@gmail.com A re-tired perspective By Jim Linderman Special thanks to our donors It is the generous support of our grateful patients and families that enables us to offer many of our services and programs free of charge. If you are interested in making a donation, contact St. Joseph’s Foundation of San Joaquin at 209.467.6347 or visit StJosephsCares.org/Donate . Pink with the Ports Join us for the 13th annual Pink Night to raise funds for St. Joseph’s Breast Health Services! Saturday, Aug . 10 at 7:10 p.m. Banner Island Ballpark Call 209.467.6347 or visit StJosephsCares.org/Foundation for more information.