I met Wendy Sconce, RN, in 2001 while receiving treatment for pancreatic cancer. I was a weekly visitor to the chemo room throughout much of 2001. I did not see her much when treatment was completed, but after a few years, I needed iron infusions, so I began seeing her again. As all cancer patients know, it is comforting to see familiar faces, especially after a number of years have passed. The people at the front desk come and go, the people doing the blood draws also come and go, and sometimes the doctors even go (as mine did when he switched offices and then retired). The one constant for me was seeing Wendy in the chemo room.
None of that is really the reason for this essay, though. The reason is that last year, Wendy had a stroke. (Or it may have been a couple of years ago — time flies.) She has worked so hard to be able to return to the work and patients that she loves and feels loyalty to. It would have been easy to quit and focus solely on herself, but she chose the other road. I am certain her journey has been as difficult as mine has been, but her compassion for others is still strong.
Although I believe all oncology nurses are extraordinary healers, Wendy has exhibited qualities that make her even more worthy of the description.