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
Hope in a Dark Place
June 16, 2015 – Susan F.
Currently Viewing
She Gives Me Courage
June 16, 2015 – Margaret Patterson
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

She Gives Me Courage

MY FAVORITE NURSE, Susanne, is a model in courage and persistence.
BY Margaret Patterson
PUBLISHED June 16, 2015
MY FAVORITE NURSE, Susanne, is a model in courage and persistence. Good thing, because I am on the fifth year of treatment for breast cancer after developing stage 4 cancer. When I first met Susanne, I already had two surgeries, two recurrences, needle trauma and was very anxious about continuing treatment at all. 
 
SHE WAS SO GOOD WITH ME, and from the first day, talked me through whatever process I had to undergo using guided imagery and reassurance. That first day, she turned my chair away from the busy infusion room, faced me toward a fountain and then asked me where I wanted to go scuba diving and made up an underwater fantasy to get my mind elsewhere while she deftly did her work. It was nothing short of amazing, considering what I had been through. On a previous blood draw, I had walked out (without getting the blood)  after seven failed attempts by three different people. From then on, I called Susanne “the vein whisperer.” 
 
Over the past five years, I have had blood draws almost every month, along with multiple shots in the belly and… um… elsewhere. I got to the point where if Susanne was unavailable when I arrived, I would simply reschedule for another day and go home! Once, she even arranged to come down to the MRI department to make sure that I had a smooth time with the IV insertion for the contrast dye. She was instrumental 
in my deciding to get a port, which I had been afraid of, and then when the port also proved painful, she came up with a new protocol for accessing it, using specially arranged equipment (a SafeStep Huber Needle) and techniques to lessen the pain. 
 
Recently, my oncologist moved his practice to another city, and when I told the new nurses about how Susanne accessed my port, they said they didn’t do that there. I now have all my blood work orders sent to Columbia Memorial instead, so I can continue with Susanne. It’s that important to me. 
 
She is innovative and caring, and very thoughtful. She always remembers whatever I tell her about my life and family, hopes and fears, and inquires about them at each visit. She arranges hospital services of Reiki treatment, pet therapy and massage treatments for me. She also has experience as a hospice nurse, so she’s not afraid to talk with me about death and dying when that’s what is on my mind. It’s really amazing that I’ve come this far, outliving my original prognosis by double now, and how much a part of my journey Susanne has been. 
 
My appointments with her have become comforting visits with a dear friend. We discuss our lives, children, parents, share diet and exercise tips, and tell each other of our travels. Once, when she was leaving for a few weeks to go to Finland to see her mother, I carefully arranged my injections to straddle her travel dates. On the visit prior to her departure, I knew I was getting two shots in the rear, so I had my husband write “bon voyage” with a marker across the injection site so she got a good laugh when I dropped my drawers! 
 
And she’s always surprising me too. I still have to look away while she’s working, because I get queasy at the sight of blood, and I usually start humming something inane. Last week she chimed in, singing, in her native Finnish, a children’s song about a pig that had me laughing so hard there were tears in my eyes. Tears of gratitude, for sure, because without Susanne I don’t think I would have made it this far. 
 
Susanne may not get as many nominations as other nurses in larger urban areas, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t make an exponential difference with the patients that come her way. We live in a town of 10,000 after all, and have a small hospital. Astoria didn’t even have a full-time oncologist until about a year ago. For me to be able to get this kind of care here, where I live, on a regular basis without having to travel, is extraordinarily helpful to me and healing in itself. She is my rock and helps me keep the faith that I can survive and thrive, no matter what the challenge. 
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