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
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
Currently Viewing
Hope in a Dark Place
June 16, 2015 – Susan F.
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

Hope in a Dark Place

HOPE IS HARD TO FIND IN A CANCER WARD, especially when the news is stage 4 metastatic breast cancer to the liver.
BY Susan F.
PUBLISHED June 16, 2015
HOPE IS HARD TO FIND IN A CANCER WARD, especially when the news is stage 4 metastatic breast cancer to the liver. But hope is exactly what oncology nurse Meg Jewett has given me. I was diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer from the get-go in February 2012. At first, my oncologist believed I was stage 2. My breast MRI showed no lymph node enlargement, and I was a young 47-year-old woman, so there was no reason to believe the cancer had spread. But a pre-treatment bone scan and CT scan showed otherwise. My liver was covered with lesions. As soon as I received the news, I began to split up my belongings in my head and plan my funeral. 
 
IT WAS MEG WHO SAT DOWN NEXT TO ME, as I was receiving one of my first of 20 weekly paclitaxel infusions, and told me, “I know someone who is still alive 30 years later after a diagnosis of advanced cancer.” And it has been Meg who has repeated that to me over and over again, as I’ve struggled to find hope in a dark and difficult situation. Every week during my infusion, Meg met me with humor and a practical yet positive approach to cancer treatment. Meg was the one who instructed me on the vitamins to take to help alleviate my building neuropathy. It was Meg who reassured me that the side effects I was experiencing were normal and that I’d get through them. The lesions on my liver dropped to just scar tissue after five months of treatment, and I was stable on Herceptin for almost two years. When I finished the rounds of paclitaxel, I wanted to thank Meg by taking her out for a wonderful meal, but I had to settle for bringing food to her at the cancer center because she was too 
busy treating other patients. 
 
In December 2013 the cancer came back, again to my liver. And again I dropped into hopelessness. Thankfully, Meg had previously talked about her experience during the clinical trials for Kadcyla, telling me how well the women on this drug did and how easily they tolerated it. With this progression, I was terrified to go through yet another round of knock-me-down chemo. Five months of weekly paclitaxel had almost disabled me and the resulting isolation sent me into a deep depression.
 
As I was coming out of the examining room, after receiving the news of my progression, I saw Meg in the hallway. Wordlessly I walked over to her, hugged her and began to cry. Meg has become a steadying point, a buoy to grab onto in these very choppy cancerous seas. That hug gave me a glimmer that maybe things will be OK. I started Kadcyla two months ago. 

Hope. It’s such a simple word, but yet so hard for many to give. I not only trust Meg’s skills and knowledge as an oncology nurse, I trust her ability to always, always give me hope, even when things get really bad. As Dr. Bernie Siegel puts it, medical staff can “deceive people into health” by simply treating them like they’re going to live. And Meg has consistently treated me like I’m going to live. The best part is that Meg believes it herself. I can feel it; she believes I’m going to live. I don’t care if either of us is deceiving ourselves. It matters. Words and actions matter. 
 
Believing that I’m going to live keeps me going from day to day. And every three weeks I know I’ll see Meg for my next dose of hope and Kadcyla. Meg has become a key member of my medical team, as important to me as my oncologist. And I am sure that Meg’s continuing belief in my health has helped to keep me alive as surely as the chemotherapy has.
Be the first to discuss this article on CURE's forum. >>
Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Breast Cancer CURE discussion group.

Related Articles

1
×

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!
×

Sign Up

Are you a member? Please Log In