I Wouldn’t Be Me Without My Oncology Nurse

Conference | <b>Extraordinary Healer® Award for Oncology Nursing</b>

I felt her authenticity and her genuine care for me. I felt safe.

By: Sunshine Maracle

Receiving a diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer at age 32 was one of the saddest days of my life. With all the uncertainty that came with my cancer, my world was in a fragile state.

Things could have easily gone wrong, but everything was handled with care. The practice stayed open and waited for me to be their last patient when they were already closed that day. The doctor was very optimistic about my condition, and the practice manager handled me with so much compassion. In less than a week, I had a port and my first chemotherapy treatment.

I was so terrified of the needles and there were so many coming my way. Each time, I would see Kristine smile at me, it made things OK. As the treatment progressed, the drugs were strong and the Benadryl would make me so drowsy. I would doze off to Kristine monitoring me and asking me if I felt OK. I felt her authenticity and her genuine care for me. I felt safe.

There was even an incident where she had to chase me down in a room because I was so terrified of the needle. Years later, we still laugh about the experience. One of the biggest reasons why I have such an uplifting view on chemotherapy was because of my experience with my chemo nurse, Kristine Peralta. She was always gentle and wonderful with my care. She took great care when putting things in my port and always made sure that I was all right.

I lost my hair during the time I was in her care, and I took the hardest drugs with her by my side. She made things consistent and simple in a chaotic world of appointments and referrals to the next doctor.

Five years later, I ended up working as a physician liaison in the same place I had my treatments. I know what is like to work with Kristine, and I see that she is like that with all the patients she takes care of. I don’t just represent Hope Cancer Care, I represent those who take care of the patients. Kristine took care of me, and I would not be the person I am today without her patient care.

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