Dispelling the Cloud of Cancer
October 01, 2017 – James G. Coe, Ph.D.
An Inspired Healer, Leader and Guide
September 30, 2017 – D.S.
Going the Extra Mile for Patients With Cancer
September 24, 2017 – Elaine Suva-Bongiovi
My Oncology Nurse, the Sunshine in My Life
September 23, 2017 – Arlene McGrotty
Learning a New Level of Gratitude as a Patient With Cancer
September 17, 2017 – Emerald Cromwell
More Than Just a Patient With Cancer
September 16, 2017 – Steve Messiter
An Extraordinary Nurse Gave My Husband an 11-Year Lifeline
September 03, 2017 – Mona Amundson
Come With Me on My Cancer Journey With Trish
September 02, 2017 – Stuart Kremer, D.O.
My Oncology Nurse Gave Me a Birthday to Remember
August 26, 2017 – Lydia Conroy
My Oncology Nurse Is a Soul Healer
August 28, 2017 – Kelley Kramer
A Saving Grace in Cancer Care
August 20, 2017 – Julie Cox
The Heart, Soul and Laughter of Healing
August 19, 2017 – Bobbie Chew Bigby
The Oncology Nurse Who Goes There
August 13, 2017 – Danielle Burgess
I Thought My Oncology Nurse Was an Angel
August 12, 2017 – Connie J. Trotter
Appreciating the Hardest-Working Oncology Nurse I Know
August 06, 2017 – Kevin Dimit
Restoring My Faith in Medicine — and Humanity
August 05, 2017 – Kalia Douglas-Micallef
Joy: An Oncology Nurse Who Fits Her Name
July 30, 2017 – Susan Edgington
Dealing With the Pride and Toughness of a Soldier With Cancer
July 29, 2017 – Carol Kelly
Sharing a Special Bond With a Remarkable Oncology Nurse
July 23, 2017 – Blake Peterson
Bringing Hogwarts to the Oncology Unit
July 22, 2017 – Debra Jacobs
Who Will Reduce Barriers to Cancer Care?
July 20, 2017 – Jill Vondrasek, MBA Marketing and Communications Director, Michigan State University College of Nursing
A Positive Guiding Light for Oncology Patients
July 14, 2017 – Mollie Maggied, M.H.A., B.S.N., RN, CPN, ATC Assistant Nurse Manager, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital
Oncology Nurse Is in Tune With the Patient's Spirit
July 16, 2017 – Sherry Johnson, M.S.N., CPON, NE-BC Fundamentals of Magnet® Certificate Holder Director of Nursing Excellence St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Oncology Nurse Inspires Patients, Health Care Team
July 15, 2017 – Abbey Brockman, RN, B.S.N., OCN Nurse Manager, Westwood Exam/Radiation Oncology, University of Kansas Cancer Center
Putting Our Hearts Into Cancer Care
July 08, 2017 – Eileen Dwyer, RN
An Extraordinary Oncology Nurse: I Wish We Could Clone Her
July 01, 2017 – Jeffrey M. Farma, M.D. Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia
The Magic Fit of Oncology Nursing
June 25, 2017 – Fred Hardwicke, M.D. Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship Program Director, Texas Tech Medical Center — Department of Internal Medicine
My Charge Nurse, Teacher, Mentor, Co-Worker and Friend
June 24, 2017 – Geovanny Gomez, CNA Providence St. John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, California
Moving Mountains to Help Patients - and Staff
June 18, 2017 – Marci Dahl Office Manager, HMS Oncology
A Tireless Patient Advocate
June 16, 2017 – Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Extraordinary Healer of the Soul and Body
June 08, 2017 – Gwendolyn Brack
Oncology Nursing Is Not Just a Job, It's a Calling
June 02, 2017 – Ellijah Legaspi
A Lifetime of Impact for Patients With Cancer
May 26, 2017 – Andy Seibert
Caring for Patients Always, Always, Always with a Smile
May 26, 2017 – Jennifer Littke
A Life Devoted to Patients With Cancer
May 26, 2017 – AN INTERVIEW WITH JANET SCHADEE, M.S.N.
The Front Line of Urologic Cancer
May 23, 2017 – George J.S. Kallingal, M.D., M.P.H. Major, MC, USA Staff Surgeon, Urologic Oncology, Brooke Army Medical Center
When Children Are Her Job
May 21, 2017 – AN INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA KOBS, RN
The Hero I Needed During Cancer
May 20, 2017 – Jackson Pagel
Oncology Found Her
May 19, 2017 – AN INTERVIEW WITH SARA SARGENTE, RN, OCN
Helping Patients Fight Cancer With All Her Heart and Soul
May 13, 2017 – Jayne O’Malley, RN, B.S.N., OCN Lung Cancer Patient Navigator and Manager of Navigation Services, Orange Regional Medical Center
Dispelling the Cloud of Cancer
October 01, 2017 – James G. Coe, Ph.D.
An Inspired Healer, Leader and Guide
September 30, 2017 – D.S.
Currently Viewing
Going the Extra Mile for Patients With Cancer
September 24, 2017 – Elaine Suva-Bongiovi
Learning a New Level of Gratitude as a Patient With Cancer
September 17, 2017 – Emerald Cromwell
More Than Just a Patient With Cancer
September 16, 2017 – Steve Messiter
An Extraordinary Nurse Gave My Husband an 11-Year Lifeline
September 03, 2017 – Mona Amundson
Come With Me on My Cancer Journey With Trish
September 02, 2017 – Stuart Kremer, D.O.
My Oncology Nurse Gave Me a Birthday to Remember
August 26, 2017 – Lydia Conroy
My Oncology Nurse Is a Soul Healer
August 28, 2017 – Kelley Kramer
A Saving Grace in Cancer Care
August 20, 2017 – Julie Cox
The Heart, Soul and Laughter of Healing
August 19, 2017 – Bobbie Chew Bigby
The Oncology Nurse Who Goes There
August 13, 2017 – Danielle Burgess
I Thought My Oncology Nurse Was an Angel
August 12, 2017 – Connie J. Trotter
Appreciating the Hardest-Working Oncology Nurse I Know
August 06, 2017 – Kevin Dimit
Restoring My Faith in Medicine — and Humanity
August 05, 2017 – Kalia Douglas-Micallef
Joy: An Oncology Nurse Who Fits Her Name
July 30, 2017 – Susan Edgington
Dealing With the Pride and Toughness of a Soldier With Cancer
July 29, 2017 – Carol Kelly
Sharing a Special Bond With a Remarkable Oncology Nurse
July 23, 2017 – Blake Peterson
Bringing Hogwarts to the Oncology Unit
July 22, 2017 – Debra Jacobs
Who Will Reduce Barriers to Cancer Care?
July 20, 2017 – Jill Vondrasek, MBA Marketing and Communications Director, Michigan State University College of Nursing
A Positive Guiding Light for Oncology Patients
July 14, 2017 – Mollie Maggied, M.H.A., B.S.N., RN, CPN, ATC Assistant Nurse Manager, Blood and Marrow Transplant Program, The Ohio State University James Cancer Hospital
Oncology Nurse Is in Tune With the Patient's Spirit
July 16, 2017 – Sherry Johnson, M.S.N., CPON, NE-BC Fundamentals of Magnet® Certificate Holder Director of Nursing Excellence St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
Oncology Nurse Inspires Patients, Health Care Team
July 15, 2017 – Abbey Brockman, RN, B.S.N., OCN Nurse Manager, Westwood Exam/Radiation Oncology, University of Kansas Cancer Center
Putting Our Hearts Into Cancer Care
July 08, 2017 – Eileen Dwyer, RN
An Extraordinary Oncology Nurse: I Wish We Could Clone Her
July 01, 2017 – Jeffrey M. Farma, M.D. Associate Professor of Surgical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia
The Magic Fit of Oncology Nursing
June 25, 2017 – Fred Hardwicke, M.D. Hematology/Medical Oncology Fellowship Program Director, Texas Tech Medical Center — Department of Internal Medicine
My Charge Nurse, Teacher, Mentor, Co-Worker and Friend
June 24, 2017 – Geovanny Gomez, CNA Providence St. John’s Health Center, Santa Monica, California
Moving Mountains to Help Patients - and Staff
June 18, 2017 – Marci Dahl Office Manager, HMS Oncology
A Tireless Patient Advocate
June 16, 2017 – Svetomir Markovic, M.D., Ph.D. Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota
Extraordinary Healer of the Soul and Body
June 08, 2017 – Gwendolyn Brack
Oncology Nursing Is Not Just a Job, It's a Calling
June 02, 2017 – Ellijah Legaspi
A Lifetime of Impact for Patients With Cancer
May 26, 2017 – Andy Seibert
Caring for Patients Always, Always, Always with a Smile
May 26, 2017 – Jennifer Littke
A Life Devoted to Patients With Cancer
May 26, 2017 – AN INTERVIEW WITH JANET SCHADEE, M.S.N.
The Front Line of Urologic Cancer
May 23, 2017 – George J.S. Kallingal, M.D., M.P.H. Major, MC, USA Staff Surgeon, Urologic Oncology, Brooke Army Medical Center
When Children Are Her Job
May 21, 2017 – AN INTERVIEW WITH JESSICA KOBS, RN
The Hero I Needed During Cancer
May 20, 2017 – Jackson Pagel
Oncology Found Her
May 19, 2017 – AN INTERVIEW WITH SARA SARGENTE, RN, OCN
Helping Patients Fight Cancer With All Her Heart and Soul
May 13, 2017 – Jayne O’Malley, RN, B.S.N., OCN Lung Cancer Patient Navigator and Manager of Navigation Services, Orange Regional Medical Center
Implementing Standards of Care in Radiation Dermatitis Prevention
July 02, 2017 – Mario Lacouture, M.D. Director, Oncodermatology Program, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York

Going the Extra Mile for Patients With Cancer

An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring CINDY L. TEEPLE, APRN, M.S.N., AOCN [ABRAHAM MITTELMAN, M.D., PRIVATE PRACTICE, PURCHASE, NEW YORK]
BY Elaine Suva-Bongiovi
PUBLISHED September 24, 2017
Cindy L. Teeple, APRN, M.S.N., AOCN,
and Elaine Suva-Bongiovi
PHOTOS BY EMILY VISTA PHOTOGRAPHY
Cindy L. Teeple, APRN, M.S.N., AOCN, and Elaine Suva-Bongiovi PHOTOS BY EMILY VISTA PHOTOGRAPHY
Cindy is not only an oncology nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist, she is also a horsewoman. She and her horse have a special relationship and have been together a long time, so they have “learned” each other. They know each other’s ups and downs, joys and tears, elation and frustration. It’s not easy to be an oncology nurse, and her horse knows that. He is her release.

I was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2015, right after my husband had surgery for lung cancer, right before my son’s wedding. Although you know you might get cancer one day, when they come out and gently tell you “They’d like us to take a few more pictures,” it’s a surprise nonetheless. The X-ray showed one tumor, then the MRI showed a second tumor in the left breast. Stage 1a, invasive breast cancer, HER2-positive. Both my breast surgeon and the second-opinion surgeon concurred that surgery, chemo and radiation were to be the course of action. I was referred to Dr. Abraham Mittelman, M.D., an oncologist, by my surgeon, and we were on our way. Me? I was numb.

I met Dr. Mittelman prior to my surgery. He explained that chemo would not start until a few weeks after surgery. He took me around the office and introduced me to his staff, and then showed me the oncology suite. When I stepped in, I don’t believe I heard another word of what was said. I know he must have been explaining things, but all I was aware of were reclining chairs, hanging intravenous bags, blankets, people who looked sick, people with no hair, blood pressure cuffs, vials, stacks of patient files...my eyes must have been as large as saucers, and the blood, I’m sure, was drained from my face. In what seemed the far-off distance, a voice repeated my name twice, bringing me back to “consciousness.” Then a hand on my shoulder from behind was followed by a “Hello, Elaine ... my name is Cindy, and I’ll be taking care of you with the other nurses. Everything is going to be fine.” That was the first time I met Cindy.

Oncology nurses are very special people. All of them. But some are even MORE special. That is Cindy. From the moment I met her, she exuded a feeling that everything was going to be all right. She explained who the doctor was as a person: what he believed in, what he studied, how he researched and, most important, how much he cared. Each step of the way, she told me what was being done and why, the names of the drugs, what the side effects might be and why it was worth going through chemo. She explained how I must be open and honest with what I was experiencing, for they could help me feel better if they knew what was going on. She is “no nonsense” and can be tough when patients are doing themselves a disservice. But she’s the first one to put a pillow under your arm to make it feel more comfortable with the intravenous therapy, and to put a heating pad on top of your arm to counteract the cold liquid going in. She is both empathetic and encouraging. Her emphasis is ALWAYS on successful completion of the treatment.

Oh, and did you know that she has “extraterrestrial hearing?” She hears everything ... every complaint, every groan, every tear rolling down a cheek. And she has a tip or a trick to help you through almost anything. Going to Mohegan Sun? No buffet for you, but Cindy will tell you what to eat at one of their restaurants. Feeling alone? I’ve been there, and Cindy will help you get through that too. She’s told me I’m never alone in this family.

Cindy becomes your mom, your sister and your best friend who tells you to “snap out of it!” (And she gets the needle stick right the first time!) She shares pieces of herself, stories about her horse, her family, to get through difficult times. She asks questions to calculate how you really feel, and then helps you feel better, even if it’s only for a few hours. Agitated? She has something for that. Depressed? She’ll help you raise your spirits. Want to show off your grandchild’s picture? She’s always available.

She never stops. I never see her rest. She only sits down to start an IV or talk to a patient. I never see her eat. She moves from one patient to another, has eyes in the back of her head and helps the entire staff. She is the most knowledgeable person I know when it comes to oncology. There is not one question I’ve asked her that she couldn’t answer extensively.

She’s very bright, very cheerful, very honest and very special. I’m done with my treatments now, but she reminds me I’m always going to be a part of the “family.” I hope she wins this award. She needs a vacation!
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