Thursday, September 30, 2004
I Tip My Hat to the Nurses
My appreciation for the chemo nurses began the first day I went in for chemo teaching and for them to take a look at my infected groshong. That seems like so long ago right now, but it was only July. My sister, Joyce, came with me and we sat down with Anita for a crash course on chemo and managing the side effects.

Anita was so confident and knowledgeable about everything. We went over tons of information and while I was a bit overwhelmed with everything, I was also confident that I was prepared for what was to come. After the consultation we went over to the chemo area and she took a look at the groshong. As she gently cleaned it and discussed different maintenance regimens with me, I became more comfortable with everything. Somehow, she made chemo, a catheter coming out of my chest, and everything else I was feeling seem normal. When she was done, she hugged me. It was the most human thing any of the health care professionals had done through this whole experience.

As treatment has progressed, I have the majority of my interactions with the nurses. There are four that work at the facility and they are all wonderful. They have the ability to ease the fear by providing information about the drugs used, how to manage the side effects, and knowing just when it should be referred to the doctor. They are professional, yet still so very personal and human. In a very professional way, it is as if they know just how to “kiss it and make it better.”

I know that my treatment has gone well and that I have had very few complications, yet I have still had to call the nurses at least once between each treatment. As busy as they are, I never seem to feel as though I am pestering them. In fact, they make it seem that I am the most important person at the moment. How does anyone deal with the range of emotions and complications that they see every day? The grace that surrounds these women is powerful. But then again, the grace that surrounds each one of us is amazingly powerful.
Written by Jeannette Vagnozzi
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Name: Jeannette
Location: Southern California, USA

This is my story about being diagnosed with breast cancer at age 39. I thought I was out of the woods, but four years late it came back. This is my quest to be a two-time survivor.

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