Transcending the Chaos of Cancer
May 21, 2018 – Deborah A. Boyle, M.S.N., RN, AOCNS, FAAN, Advanced Oncology Nursing Resources, Huntington Beach, California
Oncology: The Only Choice
May 22, 2018 – Kathy LaTour
Nursing Through the Prism of Childhood
May 27, 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
Currently Viewing
The Oncology Nurse Who Radiates Pink
July 28, 2018 – Eleanor K. Waldrup
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

The Oncology Nurse Who Radiates Pink

An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring WYNDELON “NIKKI” SIMMONS, B.S.N., RN, OCN [UNIVERSITY OF MISSISSIPPI MEDICAL CENTER CANCER INSTITUTE, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI]
BY Eleanor K. Waldrup
PUBLISHED July 28, 2018
From left: Wyndelon 'Nikki' Simmons, B.S.N., RN, OCN, and Eleanor K. Waldrup
 - PHOTOS BY MARTHA GRACE GRAY
From left: Wyndelon 'Nikki' Simmons, B.S.N., RN, OCN, and Eleanor K. Waldrup - PHOTOS BY MARTHA GRACE GRAY
One thing I learned during my cancer journey is that the one person you will communicate with the most is your oncology nurse. The nurse is the straight shot to your doctor, tests, appointments and so many other very important details. She is the advocate for her patients, and the two of you build a trusting relationship like no other. Starting out, you are overwhelmed and scared, but Nikki is always available with a great sense of compassion and a helpful answer. She gives you strength and courage to move forward to the next step. Nikki is the bomb!

Nikki has always gone beyond her title to make me feel like something more than a piece of paper or a number; she is sincere and caring. I started my journey in 2011 with invasive ductal carcinoma and had all the bells and whistles. In May 2016, I was at my five-year mark of being cancer-free. In late June, I noticed an unusual pain and thought it was a kidney stone, but after a visit to a clinic and the emergency room for a scan, everything changed. I was told to contact my oncologist immediately, and it was Nikki I contacted. She set everything up with her positive voice and checked on me until my appointment to discuss the new finding: Metastatic to the bone, cancer had eaten a good section of the T10 vertebra. Nikki gave me her cellphone number so I could contact her if I needed anything.

She provides me with so much guidance, love and friendship beyond her job because she is so compassionate! You don’t usually find someone who reaches out past their job requirements. She gives from the heart, and I call her my lifeline. I also have nine stents — six in the heart and three in the subclavian artery — so sometimes I get overwhelmed. Without her continual encouragement and support, I might not have pushed as hard to fight.

The journey of cancer is a roller-coaster ride, but I’m thankful for the guidance, support, friendship and encouragement I get from my nurse. Her personality radiates a force of energy, and her patients know she is sincere.

I have stage 4 cancer, but with Nikki as my nurse, I can climb any mountain because she shares her love of her patients, rising to a whole different level of care. I would not know what to do without her. I may ask a question and she will not only answer but also make sure she has covered all the information and connected all the dots.

In an oncology nurse, I want someone who cares, is compassionate, dedicated and positive, and has a strong background of knowledge — and I have found that in Nikki. She is a radiance of pink!
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