Sometime in August, while I was still relatively new to the ship, I was handed my assignment sheet and noticed a diagnosis I hadn't yet seen here before. Mastectomy. Working on the General ward, there were a lot more males coming in for hernias etc than anything else, and to see a female admission for a mastectomy was definitely not something I was expecting. I found out later that there's a specific surgeon that will do a few on the ship if it looks like it's localized and the person is willing to take medications for 5 years.
She was not my patient for the next week, but I saw her frequently, and it wasn't an easy recovery. I can't honestly ever recall her complaining. There was a small complication that meant she stayed almost an extra month to heal up. She got to know the nurses and the patients. She came to us with encouraging words. She wrote goodbye notes to nurses that were going home. She would talk about how she prayed for us. Never focusing on herself, she instead reminded us how God is looking out for us. One nurse told me the note she received made her feel like she was the patient and Esther was the one looking out for her. Often at handover from days to evenings, she'd come join the nurses to sing and pray.
Finally, in mid September she was sent home with a small wound and all the supplies to help it heal.