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October 08, 2016 – Mack and Lacinda Frazier
Helping Me "Take Charge" After Cancer
October 01, 2016 – Jim Berrey
My Incomparable Oncology Nurse, Lilia
October 02, 2016 – Luke G. Conley III
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September 19, 2016 – John G. Moisan
A Mother's Lifeline: An Amazing Oncology Nurse
September 17, 2016 – Lindsay Querin
A Lighthouse in the Storm of Cancer
September 11, 2016 – Myra Katsuki
My Extraordinary Healer Before and After Cancer Treatment
September 10, 2016 – Larinda Conrad
Finding an Unexpected Friend Through Breast Cancer
September 05, 2016 – Diane Makrinos
Good Karma From My Oncology Nurse, a Kindred Spirit
September 04, 2016 – Mary Ann Kurpinski (patient) and Linda Nabozny (sister)
My Letter to Nancy, an Extraordinary Oncology Nurse
September 03, 2016 – Shelli Greenland
The Oncology Nurse With the Pale Pink Booklet
August 28, 2016 – Tammy Wilsford
With Cancer, It's Either Laugh or Cry
August 28, 2016 – Melissa (Missy) Grace
Ray's Oncology Nurse: His Sunshine and Guardian Angel
August 20, 2016 – Raymond Dziolowski
Our Pediatric Oncology Superhero
August 21, 2016 – Glen Jusczyk on behalf of Malia Jusczyk
Our Extraordinary Home Link to the Oncologist
August 14, 2016 – Susan B. Whigham
Abby's Oncology Nurse: A Gift of Love to Our Family
August 14, 2016 – Steven Oliver
More Than Just a Cancer Nurse: Mel's Angel on Earth
August 08, 2016 – Aggie Higginbotham
A Grateful Daughter: How One Oncology Nurse Made All the Difference
August 06, 2016 – Darlene C. Terroni
Mom's Oncology Nurse: A True Lifesaver
July 31, 2016 – Cassidy Poske, daughter of Christi Poske
A Loyal Friendship Conquers Cancer's Boundaries
July 30, 2016 – Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN
One of the Quiet Oncology Heroes
July 24, 2016 – Lisa Barnes
My Personal Cancer Warrior
July 24, 2016 – Rosemary E. Manbachi, CRNP
A Loving and Compassionate Oncology Nurse
July 18, 2016 – Revathi Suppiah, MD
Behind the Scenes: Quietly Making Oncology Patients' Hopes a Reality
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July 10, 2016 – Melissa Andres, BSN, RN, OCN
On the Frontlines, Advocating for Every Child With Cancer
July 04, 2016 – Daniel W. Lee, MD
My Oncology Nurse: A Shining Star of Hope
July 03, 2016 – Jessie M. Turner
An Oncology Nurse's Perseverance to Dig Deeper
July 02, 2016 – Catherine Hugues
Just an Oncology Nurse? Not At All
June 25, 2016 – Nina Garkavi
My Oncology Nurse and Lifesaver
June 26, 2016 – Mallory Turchi
A Healer for the Heart and Soul Throughout My Cancer Journey
June 12, 2016 – Jessica Bembry, RN, BSN, OCN and Sissy Smith
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May 29, 2016 – DIANA GORDON, RN, MSN, CPNP, CPON
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Advocating for Patients With Cancer, Near and Far
May 31, 2016 – Carmi Fazio, RN, MSN, ONA
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May 22, 2016 – Lynne Malestic, RN
Blending the Art and Skill of Oncology Nursing With Boundless Compassion
May 21, 2016 – Cera Stanford, BSN, RN, PHN, NE-BC, HACP
Finding a New Friend Through Cancer
October 08, 2016 – Mack and Lacinda Frazier
Helping Me "Take Charge" After Cancer
October 01, 2016 – Jim Berrey
My Incomparable Oncology Nurse, Lilia
October 02, 2016 – Luke G. Conley III
Compassionate Cancer Care That Began With a Hug
September 19, 2016 – John G. Moisan
A Mother's Lifeline: An Amazing Oncology Nurse
September 17, 2016 – Lindsay Querin
A Lighthouse in the Storm of Cancer
September 11, 2016 – Myra Katsuki
My Extraordinary Healer Before and After Cancer Treatment
September 10, 2016 – Larinda Conrad
Finding an Unexpected Friend Through Breast Cancer
September 05, 2016 – Diane Makrinos
Good Karma From My Oncology Nurse, a Kindred Spirit
September 04, 2016 – Mary Ann Kurpinski (patient) and Linda Nabozny (sister)
My Letter to Nancy, an Extraordinary Oncology Nurse
September 03, 2016 – Shelli Greenland
The Oncology Nurse With the Pale Pink Booklet
August 28, 2016 – Tammy Wilsford
With Cancer, It's Either Laugh or Cry
August 28, 2016 – Melissa (Missy) Grace
Ray's Oncology Nurse: His Sunshine and Guardian Angel
August 20, 2016 – Raymond Dziolowski
Our Pediatric Oncology Superhero
August 21, 2016 – Glen Jusczyk on behalf of Malia Jusczyk
Our Extraordinary Home Link to the Oncologist
August 14, 2016 – Susan B. Whigham
Abby's Oncology Nurse: A Gift of Love to Our Family
August 14, 2016 – Steven Oliver
More Than Just a Cancer Nurse: Mel's Angel on Earth
August 08, 2016 – Aggie Higginbotham
Currently Viewing
A Grateful Daughter: How One Oncology Nurse Made All the Difference
August 06, 2016 – Darlene C. Terroni
A Loyal Friendship Conquers Cancer's Boundaries
July 30, 2016 – Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN
One of the Quiet Oncology Heroes
July 24, 2016 – Lisa Barnes
My Personal Cancer Warrior
July 24, 2016 – Rosemary E. Manbachi, CRNP
A Loving and Compassionate Oncology Nurse
July 18, 2016 – Revathi Suppiah, MD
Behind the Scenes: Quietly Making Oncology Patients' Hopes a Reality
July 16, 2016 – David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH
Holding Our Mission -- and Her Oncology Patients -- in Her Heart
July 10, 2016 – Melissa Andres, BSN, RN, OCN
On the Frontlines, Advocating for Every Child With Cancer
July 04, 2016 – Daniel W. Lee, MD
My Oncology Nurse: A Shining Star of Hope
July 03, 2016 – Jessie M. Turner
An Oncology Nurse's Perseverance to Dig Deeper
July 02, 2016 – Catherine Hugues
Just an Oncology Nurse? Not At All
June 25, 2016 – Nina Garkavi
My Oncology Nurse and Lifesaver
June 26, 2016 – Mallory Turchi
A Healer for the Heart and Soul Throughout My Cancer Journey
June 12, 2016 – Jessica Bembry, RN, BSN, OCN and Sissy Smith
An Oncology Nurse With a Million Dollar Smile and Priceless Heart
June 11, 2016 – Brandi Brethour
Making a Long-Term Commitment to Pediatric Patients: An Interview With Diana Gordon
May 29, 2016 – DIANA GORDON, RN, MSN, CPNP, CPON
A Tireless Advocate for Children With Cancer and a Beacon of Hope
May 28, 2016 – Julie Blatt, MD
Advocating for Patients With Cancer, Near and Far
May 31, 2016 – Carmi Fazio, RN, MSN, ONA
An Extraordinary Healer and So Much More
May 16, 2016 – Lisa Chapman
The Joy of Caring: An Interview With Extraordinary Healer Winner Lynne Malestic
May 22, 2016 – Lynne Malestic, RN
Blending the Art and Skill of Oncology Nursing With Boundless Compassion
May 21, 2016 – Cera Stanford, BSN, RN, PHN, NE-BC, HACP

A Grateful Daughter: How One Oncology Nurse Made All the Difference

An Extraordinary Healer Essay honoring Karen Ebert, BSN, RN, OCN [ Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center in Elizabeth, New Jersey ]
BY Darlene C. Terroni
PUBLISHED August 06, 2016
Karen Ebert, BSN, RN, OCN PHOTO BY KRISTEN THORNE
Karen Ebert, BSN, RN, OCN PHOTO BY KRISTEN THORNE
I would like for you to, in some small way, get to know Karen Ebert the way my mom, Christine Terroni, and I do. Ever since we were introduced to Karen, my mom's oncology nurse, in November 2013, she has brought love, laughter, respect, compassion and dedication to healing into our lives in what was a very bleak and scary time.

My mom was diagnosed with stage 3 adenocarcinoma of the right lung in October 2013. Due to other serious health issues, she was not a candidate for surgery. So her doctor and the team at Trinitas Comprehensive Cancer Center determined that the best course of treatment for her, an 85-year-old woman with osteoporosis, heart disease, dementia, Crohn's disease and an old ileostomy, was chemotherapy accompanied by radiation.

My mom was extremely nervous walking into the cancer center that November morning to begin treatment, but Karen's infectious smile and warm welcome helped put her at ease, and soon they were chatting away like they had known each other for years. In between my mom's questions regarding her personal life, Karen patiently explained everything that would happen during each visit and took great care to answer all of our questions.

Because of Karen's dedication to her patients and her experience, several life-threatening crises have been circumvented over the past two years that my mom has been receiving treatment. For example, it was Karen who guided me in getting help for my mom when she was having difficulty breathing at a follow-up post-radiation visit. She obtained orders for home oxygen to alleviate her shortness of breath. But, in fact, she was experiencing internal bleeding due to a ruptured esophageal ulcer, damage from her radiation therapy.

When I found my mom's condition worsening, I called Karen, as she had seen my mom the previous day. When I described the situation, Karen instructed me to call 911 and get her to the emergency room ASAP. Once there, I was to call her so that she could contact her doctor and apprise him of my mom's status. As it turned out, my mom's hemoglobin had dropped 5 points in 24 hours, from 12 to 7, requiring 4 units of blood, cauterization of the ulcer and a week's hospital stay followed by convalescence at a rehab center to regain her strength and mobility. If it weren't for Karen's advice, I might have delayed getting my mom to the hospital and the outcome could have been very different.

In another instance, Karen suggested that my mom get a port-a-cath to make the infusion process easier on her. Early on, it became increasingly apparent that my mom was suffering each time she went for an infusion treatment. Mom has very poor veins, which historically roll and “blow” during venipuncture/IV use. This routinely requires multiple sticks to find access for treatment and causes pain and bruising at several sites on her arms. During one of these times, my mom became visibly upset, crying and asking Karen not to stick her again. I followed up on Karen's suggestion, and my mom had the procedure to implant a port in her chest. It was the best decision we made. My mom no longer has problems with her infusion treatments and actually chats up a storm with Karen while Karen gains IV access via the port. We will be forever grateful to Karen for just that one bit of information, as it has made a huge difference in my mom's ability to deal with her treatment.

Karen takes time out of her busy schedule to visit my mom in her hospital room during her admission or making sure I get my mom's prescriptions when I leave the infusion center without them. She helps me to navigate complex forms that health care suppliers require for Medicare payment so that her in-house oxygen supply remains unaffected. Karen makes sure there is a bed available for my mom to use so that she is comfortable and pain-free during treatment (remembering her severe osteoporosis and compression fractures of the back), as opposed to sitting in a chair for hours. And she listens to me rant and rave like a lunatic when I'm on overload and need a sounding board.

I could go on and on with additional examples of how Karen goes above and beyond her job to provide care and comfort to us, but this gives you a picture of what an extraordinary nurse and human being Karen Ebert is.
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