Oncology Nurses

I talk about this in my book, but you can’t say it too often.  Oncology nurses are the most wonderful people in our chemo universe – in many ways, moreso than our doctors.

I remember one day during treatment when I happened to glance up from my newspaper.  Across the room, but very quietly, a drama was taking place.  I saw a group of nurses gathered around a chair, a lot of activity going on…and then the paramedics showed up.

Someone had a bad reaction to one of the drugs.  The nurses were not only “there”, they were calm, competent to handle the crisis, reassuring to everyone else (because seeing that happen to somebody next to you getting those powerful drugs, can blow you out of your chair).

You can’t just count on training, to be a good oncology nurse.  There are other ingredients, having to do with character.  Healers are special in every arena, but in that treatment room, they personify the word “hero”.  Day after day, they see people in pain, confused, frightened, angry.  They form attachments to their patients, patients that often don’t make it.  They absorb all of this, plus whatever dramas are going on in the facility where they work, and somehow they still always step up, they always have the right words to make the experience easier.

From me to them: Oncology nurses of the world, you are truly heroes.

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