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September 04, 2016 – Mary Ann Kurpinski (patient) and Linda Nabozny (sister)
My Letter to Nancy, an Extraordinary Oncology Nurse
September 03, 2016 – Shelli Greenland
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August 28, 2016 – Melissa (Missy) Grace
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August 20, 2016 – Raymond Dziolowski
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August 14, 2016 – Susan B. Whigham
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August 14, 2016 – Steven Oliver
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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
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
A Grateful Daughter: How One Oncology Nurse Made All the Difference
August 06, 2016 – Darlene C. Terroni
Mom's Oncology Nurse: A True Lifesaver
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Currently Viewing
A Loyal Friendship Conquers Cancer's Boundaries
July 30, 2016 – Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN
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July 24, 2016 – Rosemary E. Manbachi, CRNP
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July 18, 2016 – Revathi Suppiah, MD
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July 16, 2016 – David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH
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July 10, 2016 – Melissa Andres, BSN, RN, OCN
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July 04, 2016 – Daniel W. Lee, MD
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June 25, 2016 – Nina Garkavi
My Oncology Nurse and Lifesaver
June 26, 2016 – Mallory Turchi
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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
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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 Loyal Friendship Conquers Cancer's Boundaries

An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring Wanda Greeley, RN, OCN [ Sacred Heart Cancer Center in Pensacola Florida ]
BY Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN
PUBLISHED July 30, 2016
King Solomon, whom God made as the wisest man who ever lived, hit the nail on the head when he wrote in Proverbs 17:17, “A true friend is always loyal and a brother is born to help in time of need.”

This quote exactly describes the kind of professional and personal relationship that Wanda Greeley and I share, dating back to October 2004. We have worked together for 11 years as chemotherapy nurses and have a rock-solid friendship. In December 2004, Wanda became pregnant with twins, and her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 non–small cell lung cancer.

I was there to help support Wanda and her family emotionally and professionally. I became her mother’s chemotherapy nurse for many cycles of paclitaxel/carboplatin in hopes that she would survive long enough to see her twin grandsons’ birth. Unfortunately, her mother lost her battle with cancer in August 2005, just six days prior to the birth of her grandsons, and during the same week that Hurricane Katrina did its damage in our hometown of Pensacola. During that week, I provided friendship and support to Wanda as she buried her mother, gave birth to her twin boys and had a near-death experience during their delivery.

We both have been very active in our local Northwest Florida Oncology Nursing Society (ONS) Chapter and have served as chapter officers. Wanda was instrumental in encouraging me to run for chapter officer, and I was elected 2014 President.

I am nominating Wanda for an Extraordinary Healer Award because of her strong commitment to me and many other patients needing her care. I was diagnosed with stage 3c endometrial cancer and went through major cancer surgery in October 2014. Wanda has been instrumental in my recovery, providing me with physical, emotional and spiritual support.

Life holds twists and turns for everyone. I administered chemotherapy to Wanda’s mom, and now, more than 10 years later, my special friend and work colleague Wanda took on the daunting task of administering 17 weeks of strong chemotherapy to me, beginning Halloween 2014 and ending in March 2015. I absolutely could not have done this cancer journey without her support, as her faith, care and hard work have helped me to become cancer-free.

One of the intravenous chemotherapy medications she gave me, paclitaxel, has its roots as being a part of the Pacific Yew tree’s bark. On Christmas Day 2014, Wanda invited me to join her and her family for their Christmas dinner. So, I exchanged my synthetic tree bark paclitaxel “recipe” she administered to me on Christmas Eve for her real Christmas dinner recipe. After Christmas, she continued to give me my treatments.

She was there when I rang the office chemo graduation bell on my last chemo day, March 7, 2015, and we both cried together. She then supported me through three months of radiation oncology treatments and encouraged me as I waited for my CT scan and PET scan results. We then celebrated my cancer-free results. This is my story about Wanda’s devotion and caring, but it has always and does always repeat itself with all of her patients consistently every single day.

Rejoice, as there are so many things to be thankful for. Celebrate your everyday blessings and the moments shared together. How do you demonstrate God’s love in your daily life? How has He touched your life? By being a blessing to others. Wanda epitomizes this, to me and to each cancer patient she works with every day.
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