Taylor Slaughter, a nurse at the UAMS Cancer Institute and cancer survivor, became a nurse because she always wanted to help others.
“I always knew since I was a little girl that I wanted to be a nurse,” she said.
She started chemotherapy the same day she got accepted into nursing school at UAMS.
In the month prior to her acceptance, she had been diagnosed with lymphoma cancer. She did not question her decision to continue with nursing school but rather used it as motivation to fight her cancer.
“It was almost like, okay, now we know what’s wrong finally. Now, let’s see what we can do about it,” she said.
After completing her chemo, she went straight back to school and became a nurse.
Now she works at the UAMS Cancer Institute, assisting patients going through what she went through.
“My diagnosis just showed me right then and there, you can do this. You just went through it, so you can do it. You can help and assist those other patients going through their hard times,” she said.
She says that at first she had survivor’s guilt, but she tries to remember that this is their journey, not hers
She also helps these patients by showing them pictures of her with no hair, and reminding them that they can do it.
“Sometimes I have patients, women specifically, that are nervous about losing their hair. I sit down and show them my Instagram photos of this is me with no hair, and I even had a mohawk when I first shaved my head,” she said.
With the word survivor tattooed on her arm, she is reminded every day of what she went through, and she is ready to face it, both in her life and by her patients’ side.