3 Breast Cancer Survivors Thank Nurses
October is well-known as Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but the extent of the awareness for many people ends at pink ribbons, organized walks, or watching NFL players sport pink jerseys.
Each year, about 246,000 women in the US are diagnosed with breast cancer, and about 40,500 women die. These are real women, each with their own story to tell. Breast cancer has serious effects on hundreds of thousands of people every year, but it’s also refreshing to hear stories of hope and new life.
Here are three women who have overcome breast cancer with the assistance of their nurses:
Peace & Blessings,
-Alisa Savoretti, CEO and founder of My Hope Chest
I’m a stage IV inflammatory breast cancer patient (currently in remission) and I relied on nurses so much more than I could have imagined during my treatment.
I had two rounds “traditional” chemo, and when that failed I miraculously got into a clinical trial, which involved more chemo for six months, and then had 40 days of radiation as well as a double mastectomy, salpingo-oophorectomy, and 19 lymph nodes removed. I then had reconstructive surgery. So I encountered a lot of nurses!
The nurses become a go-to in the oncology world. Particularly if you’re treated at a larger hospital or medical center, reaching a nurse is a lot easier than reaching a doctor. And this is true well into survivorship, when you have questions (more and more questions) that aren’t necessarily life-threatening but definitely impact your quality of life.
What I got the most from nurses was their insight. The surgical nurses had advice that I hadn’t heard from a doctor, and I relied heavily on my radiation therapy nurse to help me through the skin issues and other side effects. In general, nurses are more likely to see you as a whole person (remember your kids’ names, or your pet’s name) and help you improve your quality of life. They spend more time with you than your physicians, and they’re willing to discuss things more at length than doctors have time for.
-Laura Holmes Haddad, author of “This Is Cancer: Everything You Need To Know, From The Waiting Room To The Bedroom”
Some ways that friends & nurses can make patients “Smile”:
- Send Cards (Smile #1) “because getting something in the mail every day was incredible!”
- Tell Them Repeatedly How Awesome They Are (Smile #2): “Because my Mom told me every day, and even more so on the really, really hard days.”
- Send customized M&Ms (Smile #3): “It was the first time I had ever seen them, I love chocolate, and my sister was the one who did it.”
- Magic Head Rub (Smile #26): “It was created, performed and named by my nephew Matthew and niece, Carly.”
- Just Be There (Smile #39): “That’s what many, many, many people did, and without that there would be no book.”
-Susan Rief, 9-year breast cancer survivor and author of “39 Things To Make A Cancer Patient Smile“