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An Exceptional Healer in MyelomaLand
June 16, 2015 – Stephen Eisenberg
The Card of Hope, The Card of Life
June 16, 2015 – Rose Niland
The Extraordinary Everyday Healer
June 16, 2015 – Diane Brandley
Calm in the Storm
June 16, 2015 – Cathie Smith
Keeping Me Grounded to My Whole
June 16, 2015 – Kelly Selis
Hope in a Dark Place
June 16, 2015 – Susan F.
She Gives Me Courage
June 16, 2015 – Margaret Patterson
Our Nurse IS The Best Medicine
June 16, 2015 – Samantha Itkin
My Kind of Nurse
June 16, 2015 – Susan Howard
My Encourager
June 16, 2015 – Joyce Bowers
Lucy's Eyes
June 16, 2015 – Sue Peck
A Comforting Soul
June 16, 2015 – Shelby Sonora
Connecting With The Heart
June 16, 2015 – Andy Himes
Over and Above: A Nurse Shows Her Wings
June 16, 2015 – Bonnie Abrams, RN
The Best Thing for an 11-Year-Old Boy's Cancer: His Amazing Nurse!
June 16, 2015 – Lisa Jenson
My Beautiful Princess
June 16, 2015 – Kristen Thompson, RN-BC, BSN, CPON
If Hurricanes Can Be Named, Why Can't Earthquakes Get One Too?
June 16, 2015 – Deborah Israeli, RN
The Humblest Hero
June 16, 2015 – Dallas Lawry
A True Patient Advocate and Holistic Caregiver
June 16, 2015 – Diane Crawford, RN, BSN, CIC
Healing Over Decades
June 16, 2014 – Stacie Corcoran, MS, RN, AOCNS
Why She Matters So Much
June 16, 2015 – Paula Vincent, RN, CNM
My Extraordinary Healer
June 16, 2015 – Holly Johnson, MD
Beyond an Extraordinary Healer
June 11, 2015 – Diane T. Huston
Never Alone
June 11, 2015 – Ginger Tam
Cheerleader, Coach and Comedian
June 11, 2015 – Kayleigh R. Coupe
The Unsung Hero
June 11, 2015 – Marjorie Gelber
Our Mother Would Have Been So Proud
June 11, 2015 – Ilene Tramantano
A Thousand Words Are Not Enough
June 11, 2015 – Cindy Brisson
A Certain Kind of Nurse: An Interview with Anne Todd, RN, OCN
June 11, 2015 – Anne Todd, RN, OCN
If You Need Me, Call and I Will Be There
June 11, 2015 – Chuck Wilson
Making a Difference: An Interview with Noelle Paul, RN, BSN, OCN, CAPA
June 11, 2015 – Noelle Paul
My Dad's Dime
June 11, 2015 – Mary Kay Morelli
On The Wings of Angels: An Interview with Cindi Cantril, RN, OCN, MPH
June 11, 2015
The Gift of Giving
June 11, 2015 – Ann Tallman
An Exceptional Healer in MyelomaLand
June 16, 2015 – Stephen Eisenberg
My Angel Nurse
June 16, 2015 – Emily Pontz
The Card of Hope, The Card of Life
June 16, 2015 – Rose Niland
The Extraordinary Everyday Healer
June 16, 2015 – Diane Brandley
Calm in the Storm
June 16, 2015 – Cathie Smith
Keeping Me Grounded to My Whole
June 16, 2015 – Kelly Selis
Hope in a Dark Place
June 16, 2015 – Susan F.
She Gives Me Courage
June 16, 2015 – Margaret Patterson
Our Nurse IS The Best Medicine
June 16, 2015 – Samantha Itkin
My Kind of Nurse
June 16, 2015 – Susan Howard
My Encourager
June 16, 2015 – Joyce Bowers
Lucy's Eyes
June 16, 2015 – Sue Peck
A Comforting Soul
June 16, 2015 – Shelby Sonora
Connecting With The Heart
June 16, 2015 – Andy Himes
Over and Above: A Nurse Shows Her Wings
June 16, 2015 – Bonnie Abrams, RN
The Best Thing for an 11-Year-Old Boy's Cancer: His Amazing Nurse!
June 16, 2015 – Lisa Jenson
My Beautiful Princess
June 16, 2015 – Kristen Thompson, RN-BC, BSN, CPON
If Hurricanes Can Be Named, Why Can't Earthquakes Get One Too?
June 16, 2015 – Deborah Israeli, RN
The Humblest Hero
June 16, 2015 – Dallas Lawry
A True Patient Advocate and Holistic Caregiver
June 16, 2015 – Diane Crawford, RN, BSN, CIC
Healing Over Decades
June 16, 2014 – Stacie Corcoran, MS, RN, AOCNS
Why She Matters So Much
June 16, 2015 – Paula Vincent, RN, CNM
My Extraordinary Healer
June 16, 2015 – Holly Johnson, MD
Beyond an Extraordinary Healer
June 11, 2015 – Diane T. Huston
Never Alone
June 11, 2015 – Ginger Tam
Cheerleader, Coach and Comedian
June 11, 2015 – Kayleigh R. Coupe
The Unsung Hero
June 11, 2015 – Marjorie Gelber
Our Mother Would Have Been So Proud
June 11, 2015 – Ilene Tramantano
A Thousand Words Are Not Enough
June 11, 2015 – Cindy Brisson
A Certain Kind of Nurse: An Interview with Anne Todd, RN, OCN
June 11, 2015 – Anne Todd, RN, OCN
If You Need Me, Call and I Will Be There
June 11, 2015 – Chuck Wilson
Making a Difference: An Interview with Noelle Paul, RN, BSN, OCN, CAPA
June 11, 2015 – Noelle Paul
My Dad's Dime
June 11, 2015 – Mary Kay Morelli
On The Wings of Angels: An Interview with Cindi Cantril, RN, OCN, MPH
June 11, 2015
The Gift of Giving
June 11, 2015 – Ann Tallman

An Exceptional Healer in MyelomaLand

IT IS WITH ENTHUSIASM that I nominate Yesenia Nunez, RN, for CURE's 2014 Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing.
BY Stephen Eisenberg
PUBLISHED June 16, 2015
IT IS WITH ENTHUSIASM that I nominate Yesenia Nunez, RN, for CURE’s 2014 Extraordinary Healer Award for Oncology Nursing. While I consider the entire nursing staff of the Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit of the University of Maryland Greenbaum Cancer Center to be excellent, Ms. Nunez is exceptional. 

MS. NUNEZ RECEIVED HER BACHELOR OF SCIENCE in nursing from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 2011, and became a registered nurse in August 2011. She was certified in chemotherapy and biotherapy administration through the University of Maryland Medical School in February 2012. 

This is where I had the good fortune to meet Ms. Nunez. I am a 62-year-old dentist who was diagnosed with multiple myeloma two years ago. I received an autologous stem cell transplant in October 2013. Due to a relapse of the myeloma, I was re-hospitalized in January 2014 for chemotherapy and a reintroduction of my stem cells. 

Ms. Nunez was my primary nurse for both admissions. Over my five weeks of hospitalizations, Ms. Nunez was a consistent source of empathy and concern for my comfort and well-being. She was also my conduit to positive thinking, which is essential for recovery. My experience as a health care professional is in dealing with the many physical and psychological needs of relatively healthy people on an outpatient basis. The Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit is a far different world, as the patients are in debilitative physical and emotional states in a restrictive hospital unit. It takes a special person to work on a daily basis with this patient population. Ms. Nunez is that special person. 
 
Aside from her excellent nursing skills, she made herself available to answer questions about my progress. Without using medical jargon, Ms. Nunez often explained my treatment to my family and how I was progressing in my journey through “Myelomaland.” She also very clearly explained to my family how to handle the restrictions I would be under at home. Her manner was very nonthreatening and sometimes humorous. Ms. Nunez was a source of comfort to me and my family. 
 
I was despondent eight weeks after my first discharge when I learned I had to return to the unit, as my stem cell transplant failed. Yet, although this quick return was not on my bucket list, the calm and kind manner in which Ms. Nunez welcomed me and eased my transition back into the unit helped me to quickly adjust once again to the routine of being a hospitalized cancer patient. While not exactly a welcome homecoming, I was quickly put at ease emotionally, my depression subsided and I felt that the unit was my home away from home. 
 
One of Ms. Nunez’s great interpersonal skills is engaging in topics of interest to the patient while fulfilling her nursing duties. Ms. Nunez facilitated countless impromptu medical and dental discussions with me. While I read as much as I can on multiple myeloma, there is a disconnect between scientific papers and the actual treatment modalities. Ms. Nunez helped bridge that knowledge gap in explaining why my physician wanted to do procedure A instead of B at a certain point in time. In return, I explained basic dentistry and proper oral hygiene, most important for cancer patients. I hope I was able to impart some of my knowledge to the Blood and Marrow Transplant Unit staff and improve the survival rate of their patients. 
 
Ms. Nunez gave me the sense that I was of help to the unit in answering questions about dental conditions that compromise cancer treatments. In doing so, she helped me believe that I remained essential and still had worth, despite my cancer. 
 
I see Ms. Nunez as the quintessential oncology nurse, who is hands-on, knowledgeable and compassionate. The likelihood is that I will need another stem cell transplant. Being a regular on the unit is not as daunting a thought knowing I will be under the care of Ms. Nunez or one her excellent colleagues. 
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