Transcending the Chaos of Cancer
May 21, 2018 – Deborah A. Boyle, M.S.N., RN, AOCNS, FAAN, Advanced Oncology Nursing Resources, Huntington Beach, California
Currently Viewing
Oncology: The Only Choice
May 22, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Nurturing Patients and Nurses
June 02, 2018 – Amita Patel, NP-C, AOCNP, Regional Cancer Care Associates
An Oncology Pioneer
June 03, 2018 – Fred Hardwicke, M.D., Childress Regional Medical Center Cancer Clinic, Childress, and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock
Camping for Health
June 02, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Improving Care Against All Odds
June 09, 2018 – Sr. Rosemary Donley, Ph.D., APRN, FAAN, Duquesne University
In the Hands of an Angel
June 10, 2018 – Jitsuda Sitthi-Amorn, M.D., St. Jude Children
The Day That Snow Brought Sunshine
June 17, 2018 – Patricia Jakel, M.N., RN, AOCN, Solid Tumor Program, UCLA, Santa Monica
Monday Morning Musings
June 20, 2018 – Justin Baker, M.D., St. Jude Children
Kathy Youngblood, Private Investigator
June 30, 2018 – Patricia Cathey, M.S.N., RN, NE-BC, St. Jude Children
Something Told Her to Become a Nurse
July 01, 2018 – Marilyn K. Stade
This Oncology Nurse Gives Back What She Receives
July 07, 2018 – Debbie Talley
The Oncology Nurse Is an Inspiration and an Example
July 08, 2018 – Marilyn K. Stade
Extraordinary Empathy in the World of Oncology
July 16, 2018 – Andrea Valera, RN, VA Palo Alto Health Care System
How One Oncology Nurse Exhibits the Best of Humanity
July 22, 2018 – Jacquelyn Pryor, Ph.D.
Pairing Diligence With Compassion in Cancer Care
July 21, 2018 – Margot Goodman
A Shining Star in Oncology Nursing
July 22, 2018 – Charles Turano
Compassion and Kind Ways in Oncology Nursing
July 26, 2018 – Edith Holder
Giving Is in Her DNA
July 29, 2018 – Deborah Dion
By My Side Through Cancer Treatments
July 27, 2018 – Malinda Blackshaw, RN
The Oncology Nurse Who Radiates Pink
July 28, 2018 – Eleanor K. Waldrup
Always a Step Ahead as an Oncology Nurse
August 04, 2018 – James G. Coe, Ph.D.
This Oncology Nurse Is Not Just Any Superhero
August 05, 2018 – Keitha V. Johnson
When Compassionate Cancer Care Meets Imagination
August 11, 2018 – Daniela Maniscalchi
An Anchor in a Time of Tumult
August 12, 2018 – Lillian Arleque, Ed.D.
From Devastation to Inspiration
August 18, 2018 – Wendy Tucker
Master of the Medical Matrix
August 19, 2018 – Linda McCarthy

Oncology: The Only Choice

AN INTERVIEW WITH CHRISTINE STONE, M.S.N., RN, OCN
BY Kathy LaTour
PUBLISHED May 22, 2018
Christine Stone, M.S.N., RN, OCN and her nominator Deborah A. Boyle, M.S.N., RN, AOCNS, FAAN
Christine Stone, M.S.N., RN, OCN and her nominator Deborah A. Boyle, M.S.N., RN, AOCNS, FAAN

For Christine Stone, oncology was the only choice. After completing an externship between her junior and senior years in nursing school at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, she accepted one of just two new graduate positions there. “The position being offered happened to be on the oncology unit,” she says.

Twenty-seven years later, she remains committed to oncology, which she now describes as a calling. As a nurse navigator, Stone says, she learns something every day on the journey with her patients from diagnosis to survivorship.

During her tenure as a nurse, Stone earned her master’s degree and oncology certified nurse accreditation and has implemented evidence-based practices to help both patients and colleagues. She has held numerous positions besides her current one, including inpatient nurse, stem cell transplant coordinator and radiation oncology nurse. As an oncology nurse educator, she also mentored colleagues, and although she found it rewarding, she tremendously missed working directly with patients. Overall, she says, each role helped her become a better nurse navigator.

Through the Life with Cancer program, Stone blends her love for teaching with patient care. This nonprofit organization, an integral part of the Inova Schar Cancer Institute, provides wellness and educational programs for patients and their families. She also facilitates monthly support groups focused on breast cancer and women’s survivorship.

Stone connects with community resources and foundations that provide varying forms of support to patients with cancer — postoperative mastectomy baskets, transportation, housecleaning, food delivery and crisis funds. “I have seen over and over again the support these foundations provide patients and the impact it makes on them as they go through their treatments, just to know someone in the community cares,” she says.

Stone’s commitment extends to her family. She and her husband of 22 years were high school sweethearts who now have three children — young-adult twins (a son and daughter) and a 16-year-old son. All are very involved with cancer-related fundraising events, Stone says, and her daughter is considering a nursing career.

Guided as a nurse by her strong faith in God, Stone also believes that the devastating news of a cancer diagnosis can produce some gifts. “These are not always seen or understood immediately, but the random acts of kindness — the outpouring of support shown by complete strangers, friends or families — can truly be a gift to many,” she says.

A participant in many major events in her patients’ lives, Stone has attended weddings, graduations, parties and funerals. Recently, she helped a patient, who had been fighting metastatic breast cancer for years, to share a milestone moment with her daughter. “During the last year of her life, I got to know her, since she was hospitalized a lot,” Stone says of the patient. “She always tried to keep things normal for her three girls.”

Stone knew that the patient was nearing the end of her life, and when she learned that the woman’s youngest daughter would soon graduate from high school, Stone helped bring the graduation to her. She phoned the high school principal, as well as the counselor, some teachers and other staff members. Wearing caps and gowns, they came to the hospital and awarded the student her diploma at her mother’s bedside. The principal read letters from the daughter’s teachers, the cafeteria made a cake, and members of the hospital’s music therapy program played in the background. “It was so wonderful,” Stone says. Her patient died that night.
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