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October 01, 2016 – Jim Berrey
My Incomparable Oncology Nurse, Lilia
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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
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August 20, 2016 – Raymond Dziolowski
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August 21, 2016 – Glen Jusczyk on behalf of Malia Jusczyk
Our Extraordinary Home Link to the Oncologist
August 14, 2016 – Susan B. Whigham
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August 14, 2016 – Steven Oliver
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August 08, 2016 – Aggie Higginbotham
A Grateful Daughter: How One Oncology Nurse Made All the Difference
August 06, 2016 – Darlene C. Terroni
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July 31, 2016 – Cassidy Poske, daughter of Christi Poske
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July 30, 2016 – Donna Clark, RN, BSN, OCN
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July 24, 2016 – Rosemary E. Manbachi, CRNP
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July 16, 2016 – David M. Waterhouse, MD, MPH
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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
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The Oncology Nurse With the Pale Pink Booklet
August 28, 2016 – Tammy Wilsford
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Currently Viewing
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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
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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
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June 12, 2016 – Jessica Bembry, RN, BSN, OCN and Sissy Smith
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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
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Ray's Oncology Nurse: His Sunshine and Guardian Angel

An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring  Kimberly Duke, RN [ Webber Cancer Center at St. John-Macomb-Oakland Hospital in Warren, Michigan ]
BY Raymond Dziolowski
PUBLISHED August 20, 2016
Kimberly Duke, RN and Raymond Dziolowski PHOTO COURTESY OF RAYMOND DZIOLOWSKI
Kimberly Duke, RN and Raymond Dziolowski PHOTO COURTESY OF RAYMOND DZIOLOWSKI
I am a prostate cancer survivor for eight-and-a-half years now, and I feel great. It all started back in 2007. I was told by my urologist that he suspected that I might have prostate cancer. I had some tests, and he said that I should have a biopsy done to be sure. I had three, and the third one showed that I had cancer. At this point, I would have to meet with the team that was going to treat me, Dr. Paul Chuba and nurse Kimberly Duke, at St. John’s Hospital in Warren, Michigan.

When I went to the hospital to meet with the team that was going to take good care of me, I must tell you, I was very scared. I didn’t know what to expect. This was all new to me. I had just recently retired and bought me a new Harley motorcycle. I wanted to start enjoying my retirement. I didn’t need this.

One of the team members was Kimberly Duke, a nurse navigator at St. John’s Hospital. When I first met with Kim, she told me that men my age (57) usually have their prostate removed. Since I was diagnosed early (stage T2), I told Kim that I was not going to have it removed. I asked her if she had a small cavity in her tooth, would she have it removed? She thought that was funny, and said no, she wouldn’t.

Then Kim mentioned something about external radiation beam therapy. I told her no again. I told her that if something goes wrong and they miss my prostate, I would be having more problems than prostate cancer. Also I ride a motorcycle, and it wouldn’t look cool if I had to mount one of those bags on the side of my bike. The last suggestion was brachytherapy treatment. I said, "Sure. That sounds better." I’m glad I chose this treatment.

On July 20, 2007, I had the surgery performed. The surgery went great. I was there at 7 a.m. and home by eleven that morning. I had no side effects. After the surgery, I had to meet with Kim. She wanted to make sure that everything went well. I told her that I was very pleased with the surgery and that I was very pleased with her. I told her that when I first heard that I had prostate cancer, I was very scared. She turned that all around and made me excited to go after this cancer. I couldn’t wait to have the surgery.

That day I called her my “Guardian Angel.” I bought her a sun catcher for her window. It says: “Prayer Changes Everything.” on it and gave it to her. She cried and said that nobody does anything like this for the nurses. I told her that she helped me so much that I needed to do something nice for her. This was eight-and-a-half years ago, and I still see her. I go to the hospital and get her flowers for Nurse’s Week. I know that this is her job taking care of her patients. And she does it so well. Kim loves being a nurse and taking care of her patients. Kim is one of the sweetest and kindest people that anyone could meet. Kim is more than just a nurse — she’s an angel in my eyes. When I was going through my most difficult and frightening time, Kim was there to comfort me and to make it easier. I’m sure that there are a lot of other good nurses out there but Kimberly is mine.
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