More Than Just a Patient With Cancer

September 16, 2017

An Extraordinary Healer essay honoring PAULA LANDMAN, RN, M.S.N. [UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA CANCER HOSPITAL, CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA]

Paula Landman, RN, M.S.N., and Steve Messiter PHOTOS BY ANNA ROUTH BARZIN

Paula Landman genuinely cares about her patients and shows an interest beyond that of patient/nurse, but as more of a longtime friend. I met Paula during my visit to UNC’s cancer center when I began receiving treatment for stage 4 melanoma. Over many of these visits, Paula would spend time with me, helping with medication, completing forms and finding resources in the hospital and surrounding community. She helped me while I was going through treatment.

However, it was not so much what Paula did in these visits as how she made me feel. She always made me feel like a friend, not a patient or a number. She took a personal interest in my life, my family and what I was doing. She made me look forward to going to my appointments and was one of the reasons I did well throughout treatment.

Unfortunately, while in treatment I fell and hit my head, and I ended up in the emergency room. She came down to speak with me, but I was not in any condition to talk. After I recovered, my wife, Rachel, told me that Paula had spent about an hour with her in the waiting room making sure that she and our son were doing OK, and offered ways in which she could help. I was very pleased to know that, not only was I being cared for with outstanding service, but that this extended to my family, as well.

Not only is my nurse excellent at helping me and other patients, but she also is very good at working behind the scenes. She is often involved with scheduling difficult-to-get appointments, making calls to various agencies and organizing Melanoma Patient Day at UNC.

Paula truly has a passion and caring for her patients, and I hope that you will honor her with this award.


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