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
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
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
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
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
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
Currently Viewing
Blending the Art and Skill of Oncology Nursing With Boundless Compassion
May 21, 2016 – Cera Stanford, BSN, RN, PHN, NE-BC, HACP

Blending the Art and Skill of Oncology Nursing With Boundless Compassion

Extraordinary Healer Volume 10's winning essay honoring Lynne Malestic, RN [ Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center in Rancho Mirage, California ] 
BY Cera Stanford, BSN, RN, PHN, NE-BC, HACP
PUBLISHED May 21, 2016
Lynne Malestic, RN
PHOTO BY HEATHER LEE
Lynne Malestic, RN - PHOTO BY HEATHER LEE

The world of oncology presents challenges every day and in every way. Patients develop a special appreciation for everything in life while their physicians and nurses have the opportunity to experience a similar appreciation for life and relationships. Hope suddenly means everything to patients newly diagnosed with cancer and their families.

Being a nurse in oncology blends the art and skill of nursing with the essence of compassion, creating a challenging and rewarding practice environment that attracts the best of the best in nursing. One nurse in particular with whom I work at the Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center, Lynne Malestic, stands out as an extraordinary healer — through what is simply ordinary work for her.

Every day Lynne greets her patients with warmth, comfort and compassion. She monitors patients and families with her in-depth knowledge and assessment skills. A normal day for Lynne includes many hugs, tears of joy and empathy sprinkled among her safe, evidence-based practice and collaboration with the physician to provide a healing environment like no other. Although there are many testimonies about Lynne’s extraordinary healing abilities, I would like to share one story that spans several years.

Lynne was caring for a foreign-born woman who was just diagnosed with cancer in the hospital. During her nursing assessment, she noted that the woman and her husband had no support network and lacked the coping mechanisms necessary to effectively transition into this new chapter of their lives. Lynne used her therapeutic communication skills to teach this couple the basics of their roles in the cancer treatment and what they needed to know to ensure their safety at home. Soon, the patient was readmitted, and Lynne again cared for this couple. It was near the holidays when the patient was discharged, and Lynne wanted to ensure that the couple experienced the true warmth of the holidays. So she invited them into her home to celebrate with her and her family.

Lynne continued providing care for the couple during their treatment, as well as outside of acute care as a member of the community. Fast-forward several months, and the patient was faced with progression of disease, increased pain and the decision of continuing with aggressive treatment or choosing hospice. After the patient made the difficult decision to go onto hospice, Lynne moved the woman into Lynne’s own home and worked with the hospice team to care for her and her husband until her inevitable yet peaceful passing. The husband was eternally grateful for the extraordinary caring exhibited by Lynne and her family, and they kept in touch, celebrating life and holidays together.

Several years later, the husband was diagnosed with cancer. A widower in a foreign society has never felt more supported and cared for than this man. Having lost his ability to live independently, he, too, was moved into Lynne’s home, and she and her family cared for him during his active treatment and until the end of his life. Lynne and her family were forever changed by the experience they had with this couple. Lynne has a daughter, Lauren, who has grown up observing this extraordinary effort and experiencing firsthand what a difference one extraordinary person can make.

Lauren is now a beautiful, smart and driven 16-year-old, whose goal is to become an RN like her mom. She helped care for the husband during his final months of life. While her friends were shopping and doing things teenagers enjoy, she was cultivating her own inner nurse. She now volunteers at the cancer center during the summer and has been impressed by the other oncology nurses and patients. She knows that her calling is oncology nursing.

Although Lynne and her family feel that they were the ones to be blessed with coming to know this couple, I know that the couple felt doubly blessed to be cared for by Lynne and her family. I am personally blessed by knowing Lynne and all of the other members of the extraordinary oncology care team I have the privilege to work with every day. 

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