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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
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June 16, 2015 – Shelby Sonora
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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
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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
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June 11, 2015 – Cindy Brisson
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June 11, 2015 – Chuck Wilson
Making a Difference: An Interview with Noelle Paul, RN, BSN, OCN, CAPA
June 11, 2015 – Noelle Paul
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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
Currently Viewing
My Extraordinary Healer
June 16, 2015 – Holly Johnson, MD
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

My Extraordinary Healer

We are all healers of the world no matter who we are. We are here because we can make a difference.
BY Holly Johnson, MD
PUBLISHED June 16, 2015
WHEN I THINK OF HEALING, I think of good health and well-being even in the presence of disease. Healing is the recovery of the heart and soul. We are all healers of the world no matter who we are. We are here because we can make a difference.

WHEN WE LIVE from the heart and therefore bless another person, this moment of blessing becomes a moment of expansion and helps us to discover ourselves. When someone sees our potential, we have an experience of self-worth. When we experience self-worth, we can find meaning and purpose, and through meaning, we can transform our life experiences, even with cancer. In Kitchen Table Wisdom, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen writes, “When we are blessed, we are led through a one-way door and there is no looking back.”

When I think of extraordinary people in my life with the power to heal and to bless, I think of Nurse Katina Wilson. I met Katina when I, the doctor, became a cancer patient. Five years ago, after finding a mass on my own chest X-ray, my chest was cracked open and I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

On my first day of chemotherapy, I sat in a brown La-Z-Boy chair in a common room with other patients ready to be hooked up to their cancer-fighting cocktails. I was strong and confident, yet bewildered and scared at the same time. Katina was handpicked to be my nurse. She walked over to me, smiled at me, put my small, cool hand in her big, warm hand and simply said, “I’m Katina. I am going to be your nurse. Leave everything to me.”

As she reached over to access my port for the first time and my first drip was ready to roll, I lost all control as reality slapped me in the face–I have cancer! I am about to receive chemo. This can’t be happening! Katina took this emotional outburst in stride, hugged me, held me and reassured me that I was OK. This was the moment she first healed me.

There are so many ways we heal others. We can heal each other through the simple words we say, the smile we share, the eye contact we make and the prayers we pray. Katina is naturally quietly awesome at these simple things. She is a healer through her service and heart for her patients. She is gentle with her touch, skilled in the way she gives care and would do anything to make a cancer patient’s experience a better one.

When one of my chemo posse couldn’t afford her medications, Katina applied for and was granted money for this patient to receive the care she needed.

When my chemo posse made her a birthday cake, she was the one who sliced it up and passed out the plates. When I brought a family member or friend with me for support, she made sure they had a chair and a hug too. She performed wonders with her words to comfort my husband and family and friends who accompanied me to my treatments.

Katina heals not only through her heart, but also through her feet, on her own time. In 2010, she raised $2,800 for Susan G. Komen and walked the Susan G. Komen 3-Day 60-mile trek to benefit 
breast cancer research and awareness.

Nurse Wilson is striving to her continuing education. Katina is so committed to being her best–to give her best to others– that she became a nursing student for the second time in her life and is now enrolled in the Dual Oncology & Adult-Gerontology Nurse Practitioner program at the University of South Florida. Due to her commitment to excellence and patient care in 2013, she was awarded the American Cancer Society’s graduate nursing scholarship. She expects to graduate in spring 2016. Her ultimate goal is to obtain her doctorate in nursing, which I have no doubt she will accomplish with a huge smile on her face and a few of her biggest fans–her survivors–in the audience.

Katina saw the potential and life force in my special chemo posse and called all of us her VIPs. She understands that to help and care for humans in the tender way we need to be, she must first be human. As our bodies betrayed us, she helped each of us to try to find meaning and purpose in our diagnosis. She met each of us exactly where we were at with our own limitations and understanding of what was happening to us.

One of my last memories I have of Katina being my nurse was at my last infusion. I walked into the chemo room bedecked in my cowgirl hat, comfy khaki pants and loose shirt so she could easily access my port. As I came around the corner to my chair, I heard sounds of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive.”

Katina and the other nurses lined up, grabbed my arm and we all started line dancing in celebration of the big finish and being cancer free! Other patients clapped along, and again Katina healed me. Thanks to my extraordinary healer, I walked through a blessed survivor’s one-way door, and since then, there has been no looking back.
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