Lynne Joy Malestic Discusses Caring For a Couple With Cancer

Lynne Joy Malestic, RN

Lynne Joy Malestic, RN, Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, Rancho Mirage, California, 2016 Extraordinary Healer Award Winner, tells a story of a couple she cared for.

Early in her career as an oncology nurse, Malestic came to know a couple who had no support outside the hospital. The wife had lung cancer, and Malestic gave them her phone number encouraging them to call if they needed anything. The next day the husband called and said that after his wife’s radiation, she could no longer climb the stairs to their apartment.

She moved them into her home for two months until she could find ground-floor housing. They continued to be friends even after the wife died, and then when the husband developed cancer, he returned to Lynne’s home where he lived until he died 17 months later.

Malestic says she knows some might see such involvement as too much, but not for her or her family. Both her husband and daughter were involved in the couple’s care. Today Malestic’s daughter talks about being an oncology nurse.

“She wanted to be an oncologist until she did volunteer work and saw the doctors leave and the nurses continuing to work with the patients. That was when she decided it was nursing she wanted.”
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