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:


I LOVE all nurses.  From the time of mastectomy through oncology and reconstruction, they were my rock!
I remember the first trip for surgery to the hospital… leading up to my mastectomy- I was saying boy, I hope I have a MALE nurse to take care of me after my darkest day… and wooola!  There he was… kind hearted… compassionate, caring. I remember him taking me to the bathroom and making me laugh… washing my hair. When you feel the worst and know you are sick… nurses look into your eyes with that reassuring calmness that everything will be fine… as if you are their best friend.   
Chemo nurses – Heroes!
During the car rides with my mother, it was never a fun trip to chemo of course but Oncology nurses saved my life.  Needles, nausea, they were there through it all and cared so deeply.   They see people at their worst and help them get through it all… I honor them and respect them, nurses are angels and warriors all in one! 

Peace & Blessings,

-Alisa Savoretti, CEO and founder of My Hope Chest


Page 2: A Stage IV Patient Now In Remission

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 survivorshipwhen 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”


Page 3: Ways To Make Patients SMILE

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

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One Response to 3 Breast Cancer Survivors Thank Nurses

  1. Jellyfish

    What a nice thought for an article. However, I feel that we should take the time (whenever we talk about breast cancer) to inform and remind everyone that men can get breast cancer too. While the numbers are much smaller (350 men, compared to 50,000 women each year in the UK [Cancer Research UK, 2014]). We should do our very best to ensure that those men are aware of the possibility they could develop beast cancer, and the signs and symptoms they should look out for.
    I have personally looked after a handful of men who didn’t even realise it was possible.