Blessings on Both Sides of the Cancer Experience


By: Carey Pavlat

My nomination is not for one but for many. There was no way I could pick just one person. It is a team made up of many individuals who are filled with so much empathy and compassion — the cancer team at Bellin Health in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

They have become a second family to me.

In 2018, I received a diagnosis of stage 3 colon cancer. This team members showed so much passion, optimism and integrity in their work. My oncologist, nurse practitioner, surgeons (and we can’t forget the robot that assisted with my surgery) — all I can say is, “Wow!” and “Amazing!” My navigator, nurses,art department associates and receptionists always made me feel comfortable during this life-changing event. They have affected my life in a way that no other person could understand unless you have had this awful disease.

The Bellin team always went the extra mile when I was going for treatments, labs, follow-ups with the oncologist or nurse practitioner, or routine port flushes. They were always there to talk to in a time of need or direct me to available resources if I had questions.

With this, I’m filled with so much gratitude. I have so much hope and comfort going forward. The cancer team at Bellin Health has truly been a gift to me and so many others.

There was one conversation with a nurse that really stood out to me. I thanked her so much for everything they were doing, and I told her how much they changed my life and how I got to reassess my life going forward. She said how much we, patients with cancer, change their lives. With that said, if you are a patient going through cancer treatment, remember that we are changing others’ lives, too.

We are not alone, and you are not alone. Blessings come when we least expect them. As my daughter said it best, “Mom, cancer saved your life.”

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